Propelling Stronger Security

It can be argued that airports and seaports are the most dynamic environments in the transportation market. From facing evolving terrorism threats and crime to complying with rules and regulations and addressing the needs of a wide variety of passengers, these complex environments operate at breakneck speeds and leave little room for error. An airport, in fact, operates like its own metropolitan area. Multiple ingress and egress points, perimeters and facilities need to be monitored and thousands of travelers and employees need to be protected on a daily basis.

Video surveillance technology is part of any multi-disciplined security strategy. It augments security personnel and enables operators to effectively engage in real-time monitoring and situation management while supporting investigative and forensic needs. In particular, an open-platform approach, combined with the ability to integrate with other third-party systems, allows organizations to benefit from other best-in-class technologies to promote a stronger security posture and permit a coordinated emergency response when necessary.

But it is important to keep in mind that video surveillance is only one part of a comprehensive security strategy. Strategic security policies and processes, effective security personnel training and staffing are key segments that must be developed first, and then combined with video surveillance and security management technologies.

The combination of valuable tools to enhance airport and seaport security efforts, such as IP video surveillance, advanced video analytics, 360-degree panoramic video technology and advanced video recording and monitoring systems, enables users to build stronger security programs through intelligent data collection. Video viewing and policy-based distribution improves emergency management, while open video management platforms unify security solutions and procedures into an intuitive platform that drives new levels of situation awareness and enables rapid response.

Today’s solutions must also drive collaboration between multiple stakeholders and responding agencies. Video data must be easily shared with other airport departments and local agencies such as police, customs, fire and medical response and even airport operations. The process of sharing critical security data with these parties enables more informed response, rapid investigation processes and greater awareness across the organization.

One of the most difficult challenges faced by airports and seaports today revolve around increasing operational efficiencies while ensuring a high level of safety. Security leaders often look to leverage existing technologies, such as surveillance cameras, to help streamline operations through the optimization of staff and technology resources. This approach delivers greater security capability through early detection of threats, allowing for compliance with security regulations and procedures.

Overall, these mission-critical facilities must embrace a proactive approach to security and emergency response to best address specific security concerns. Innovative surveillance and security management technologies provide a high level of safety, security and disaster preparedness for the vast and diverse environments typical of today’s commercial airports and seaports. By combining video surveillance with intelligent tools such as video analytics and other third-party tools, security officials can easily identify suspects and potential vulnerabilities, as well as ensure compliance with government regulations.

Flying High: Solutions for Operational Efficiencies in Today’s Modern Airports

Airports are plagued by complexity with regards to stringent regulations, oversight and providing high levels of safety and security for travelers and staff. These sites have several layers of accessibility ranging from airport workers and vendors, to an endless stream of passengers.

In addition to the internal protection of terminals, airports typically have a large, expansive perimeters, which can often lead to vulnerabilities caused by blind spots and other extreme conditions. Within the airport terminal and beyond, the exposure to threats has the potential to become catastrophic if let unchecked by implementing policies, procedures and technology to protect the entire facility.
Adding in the ongoing global health crisis to already stringent security and safety procedures makes for a time-consuming effort for staff and passengers. Airport staff are now asked to set up and ensure hygiene procedures are followed, perform thermal scans, and ensure passengers continue social distancing guidelines. They are taking on more responsibilities to better meet new health and safety regulations. The question remains: how do airport employees rise to the challenge of addressing these factors while maintaining the integrity of the organization they serve?

The answer is in reinforcing the need for airports to invest in technologies that increase operational efficiency, as well as minimize disruption and revenue loss due to delay, lost baggage or criminality.
Pelco intelligent video surveillance solutions aim to provide complete situational awareness, deliver operational effectiveness and improve emergency responsiveness. Our easy-to-use technology allows airport personnel to visually monitor the entire airport, from perimeter to terminal, even in harsh weather conditions or any time of day.

Pre and Post TSA Operations Control
Complete range of cameras for any situation. Advanced camera solutions and purpose-built cameras manage views across the entire airport to drive more situational awareness. Quick access to multi monitor display and cameras allows operators to see what they need to see, when they need to see it.

Monitor runway and taxi ways. Using video from the perimeter and runways, and matching data with flight radar plug-in web interface, allow real-time checks for flight status. Optera combined with Pelco camera link technology offers constant and seamless panorama (panomersive view) and ability to track moving objects on a geographical map. It reduces the number of cameras due to its very large coverage and allows operators to see the entire scene and zoom in for details.

Terminal, entrances, exits, check-in and security areas. Provide coverage with panoramic camera ranges to eliminate potential blind spots. Leverage Sarix enhanced to reduce image blur of fast-moving objects (people running or moving vehicles).

Perimeter protection. Often unmanned, with no physical borders and poorly lit, airport perimeters require advanced video technology. Our thermal and long-range detection cameras, Sarix and Esprit, cover greater distance well above the horizon and can identify intruders or personnel in pitch dark with exact color reproduction.

Technology Expands Capabilities and Increases Efficiencies

Delays and long queue. Receive auto alerts when queue length increases beyond certain length with intrusion detection camera edge analytics. Operator can anticipate and proactively respond to choke points, crowd patterns and foot-traffic flows through terminals, making quick decision such as increase staffing and open or close a lane.

Improved customer experience. Through proactive measures to address passenger queues, Pelco technology can provide a delay-free experience to passengers. By reducing wait times, more time can be spent in retail shops and restaurants and generate revenue for the airport facility.

Baggage management. When abandoned baggage is on the belt, carrousel or in the airport, Pelco analytics detects it and alerts staff. Baggage investigations can be costly and time-consuming, but analytics can help resolve these incidents quickly and efficiently.

Detect falls, slips, theft, lost children. Mapping tools help facilitate system management and increase safety to help keep passenger traffic fluid. Incidents can be quickly resolved by locating the incident and calling up the respective camera with video to aid investigations.

Prevent re-entry into security area. Directional motion analytics help detect wrong direction and send immediate notification to generate a faster response from operators.

Real-time Evidence Share and Single Interface Management

Leveraging Pelco video management systems allow you to monitor your operations from a single user interface while Pelco’s monitor wall correlates when intrusion and events are happening in one view. The VideoXpert VMS user interface allows immediate search through devices using device tree, tags, filter lists, IP address and Source names, while the investigation tab and SYNC Playback allows for the synchronisation of multiple cameras in one work space/view. Continued collaboration between the multiple entities and terminals is a known and recurrent challenge, but the VX Connect Plugin allows the sharing of information in real-time of Pre- and Post-TSA incidents with ease.

Pelco is committed to providing you and your team tailored solutions and support. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have about your video surveillance technology or how we can help you make your operations more efficient.

Case Study | Fresno Yosemite International Airport

About Fresno Yosemite International Airport

Located in the Central San Joaquin Valley, Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) is a regional aviation hub in the heart of California
that serves more than 1.2-million passengers annually. The airport is home to eight different airlines that provide non-stop service from
FAT to 10 different domestic and international locations. The airport encompasses more than 2,000 acres, and features two runways
and associated taxiways that are capable of accommodating most airline fleets. As with any airport, the use of video surveillance is
absolutely critical to ensuring the safety and security of both passengers and staff at FAT.

View More Information on Fresno Yosemite International Airport

Case Study | Memphis Tennessee Airport Solution

About Memphis Tennessee Airport

When airline travel first started in America in the early part of the 20th century, most airports consisted of a sod field runway, a few hangars and perhaps 15 passengers a day. Now, one hundred years later, millions of people are flying everyday in commercial airlines
and air freight planes are transporting everything that can be bought and sold. Keeping up with the expansive growth in commercial
and freight air travel has been a challenge for many airports such as the 2nd busiest cargo airport in the world, located in Memphis,
Tennessee. Here, renovations, expansions and upgrades will soon be underway to improve aircraft access to the terminal, enhance the
customer experience with safer and more modern facilities – and ensure they are ready for the next growth phase.

View More on Memphis Tennessee’s Airport Solution

Guest Post: Application of Advanced Video Analytics in Airports

Airport security remains one of the most critical threats faced by large cities. The rapid expansion in the aviation industry has escalated these threats due to the increase in passenger numbers. Automation of security and operational tasks is at the heart of providing effective screening and protection while scaling up to accommodate the growing numbers of passengers. Advanced Video Analytics has a crucial role in providing effective solutions that either autonomously detect and contain threats or assist security officers by providing superior situational awareness.

Advanced video analytics has been successfully deployed in airports to address critical safety and security needs. While some of the solutions are targeting proactive use of the surveillance network and increasing the situational awareness of security officers, others are fully automated and contain threats while alerting authorities.

  • At passenger security screening immediate detection of breaches to the landside/airside boundary are crucial to the secure operation of the airport. Furthermore, in large terminal buildings volubility must be mitigated by continuously monitoring unattended screening lanes for intruders.
  • At immigration desks Face Recognition scans passengers’ facial data constantly, comparing it in real time against a database of known suspects while storing every detected face in a passengers’ database to enable retrospective forensics searches.
  • At arrivals exit lanes, video analytics instantly detects pass-back violations and physically contains infiltrators by shutting automatic doors while alerting authorities.
  • Video analytics also plays a role in airside security and operations through identifying specific behaviours involving people, planes, and vehicles in an active and dynamic scene. Airside virtual intrusion and security of the Critical Paths are two of the areas where video analytics has been used to replace physical barriers by creating virtual aircraft zones and detecting unauthorised individuals at cargo loading zones.
  • Advanced scenario based rules play a big role in reducing nuisance events and focusing on real threats. Abandoned luggage detection is one example of such complex behaviour especially in busy areas like departures retail.
  • More recently the forensics use of video analytics in airports has become key in investigating incidents and apprehending those responsible near real time. Technologies like Tag and Track and Face/Behaviour forensics searches have been introduced to assist security officers to analyse hours of video in seconds, focus the investigation to achieve effective results and create the ultimate investigative tool. Face recognition forensics capability can also identify individuals in a network of cameras and search for passenger that visited the airport previously.

Written by Boghos Boghossian

Dr Boghos Boghossian is an acknowledged expert in systems/architectures for real-time advanced video analytics systems. Dr Boghossian has published numerous research papers on the subject and his inventions have be awarded global patents Dr Boghossian received a PhD in 2001 for work on human behaviour analysis for video surveillance systems at King’s College London, University of London. Since then he co-founded Ipsotek Ltd that specialise in providing advanced video analytics solutions. With headquarters in the UK, Ipsotek has provided effective solution across the world specialising in airport security, ITS and CNI protection.

Minimizing Wait Time in Baggage Claim

For security management at an airport, ensuring that moving crowds reach their destination (either leaving the airport or making their flight) safely and efficiently is priority one. Tired travelers who have just disembarked from a long flight want nothing more than to reclaim their luggage and begin the journey home, and may become frustrated and angered by delayed baggage claims that increase their wait time and delay their exit.

These inefficiencies are often created by alarms on the baggage handling system, triggered by jams or foul play, that stop the conveyor belt from moving. While this is a necessary safety feature to prevent the system from malfunctioning or from causing harm, it is often the result of an alarm that has been falsely triggered. If airport officials aren’t quickly and accurately made aware of the cause of these alarms, or where the issue is located, it becomes more difficult and more time consuming to solve the issue, leading to disgruntled travelers in a growing crowd.

The combination of delayed baggage claims and tired, edgy travelers is a bad mix, creating restless crowds impatiently waiting for their bags. Impatient, annoyed travelers crowded in to retrieve bags can easily create a security or hazard risk, as well as unhappy customers, so it is imperative to deal with jams or other issues as quickly as possible. However, the alarms set off by the baggage handling system may not provide enough information when alerting operators to what has caused the jam and where it has occurred.

Video management systems can help to ensure that baggage delays are dealt with quickly and do not cause further security issues by integrating video verification with baggage handling systems (BHS). With this integration, the VMS can automatically validate BHS alarms for baggage jams, allowing staff to more quickly move through the process of clearing a jam or dealing with foul play.

In addition, the integration of VMS with BHS makes it possible to alert operators as to where an alarm has been triggered and what the cause of the trigger was, giving staff the ability to respond proactively to the issue and find it quickly in the large baggage claim area. By arming service personnel with foreknowledge, they are enabled to easily dispense with crowd-causing baggage handling slows and not create more crowding or other security risks by searching fruitlessly for an issue.

Further, crowd monitoring analytics can help to ensure that in the event of a baggage jam security officers are able to proactively respond to growing crowds. This can help to monitor crowd movement, loitering, and objects near the baggage claim to allow security officers to proactively predict choke points, analyze crowd patterns and monitor foot traffic flow.

Helping to control crowds needs to be a high priority for any airport, as irritable travelers and delays are a historically bad mix. Integrating your video management system with baggage handling can help to alleviate problems caused by baggage handling delays, in addition to helping security proactively respond to threats posed by crowds in the baggage claim area.

No Child Left Behind

As air travel becomes more and more a part of everyday life, airports are becoming more complex facilities. Multiple terminals, the proliferation of retail and food service outlets, circuitous layouts, front- and back-of-house areas, varying levels of security, and large crowds all make an airport more difficult to navigate, requiring intricate signage to ensure that patrons don’t get lost. In this environment, should a young child be separated from their traveling companions, it may be difficult for them to find their way back.

If a child becomes separated from their family in an airport, they can be extremely difficult to locate. Many areas that a small child can access before anyone even notices they’re gone can put them in hazardous situations or out of sight of airport personnel. Locating the child is obviously of paramount importance to the frightened family, and the child may not be old enough to understand how to find their way to airport staff who can help them. In these situations, security may need to step in to help find a lost child and bring them back before any problems arise for the child or the airport – all while making sure the family is on time for their flight.

However, the security personnel at airports are already extremely busy with the many threats they must deal with on a continual basis. Security personnel are constantly on the lookout for issues, from potential terrorism to disgruntled employees that may cause issues to the growing crowds waiting to get on their flights. Having to locate a lost child and reunite them with their family could divert significant resources away from protecting everyone else within the airport and ensuring the safety of flights as they depart and arrive. Fortunately, many security technologies on the market today deliver dynamic features that help make searches for lost children simple, fast and accurate.

Intelligent analytics in place on many modern video management systems (VMS) can help to quickly locate lost children and aid security officers in reconnecting them with their families. People-tracking analytics are able to scan thousands of people in seconds, using predetermined search criteria— height, hair color, shirt color, and others— to search faster and more accurately than is possible by human eyes alone and locate an individual meeting that criteria. Security officers can then minimize time wasted with on-the-ground searching by notifying officers nearby and keeping them updated with the location of a missing child as they move through the airport.

Analytics can also be leveraged to detect lost children entering hazardous areas before they’re even reported by their worried families. By setting alarms to be triggered by a VMS when a perimeter or barrier is breached without authorization, when movement is detected in the opposite direction of traffic, or when doors are opened with force, security officers are notified immediately, allowing them to proactively respond to possible incidents and helping to prevent harm to anyone in an unauthorized area. The use of this analytics software can even allow for unmanned monitoring, freeing up security teams to perform additional tasks.

In addition to analytics, many surveillance cameras are equipped with features that can assist in locating lost children. Multi-sensor panoramic cameras allow operators a better view of the entirety of the facility, covering high and low areas that other cameras might miss and giving officers a better view of people who are lower to the ground.

When a child goes missing in a complex facility like an airport, time is of the essence to reunite them with their worried family and prevent them from accidentally harming themselves or others. With modern cameras and the right integrated analytics on your surveillance system, you can limit the manpower required to find a lost child and locate them even more efficiently than with an extensive ground-level search, ensuring that they keep out of danger and can even still make their flight.

Using Video Surveillance to Limit Liability at Airports

Airports are large, sprawling spaces, containing a number of areas utilized by masses of people from travelers to airport personnel as they travel from place to place or go about their daily jobs. Securing such a facility is a complex process, requiring a robust video surveillance system throughout not only the front-facing parts of the facility, but also employee-only restricted access areas, tarmac and exterior areas.

The many potential dangers of an airport environment means that liabilities are a serious concern for airport management. Dangerous machinery on property, a sprawling facility with many nooks and crannies, a great many people moving from place to place (often in a hurry), and a number of vendors and contract employees all converge to create an environment where risk is high and difficult to detect. An injury or other incident occurring on airport property can be costly and take up valuable resources. In addition, it may be difficult to determine exactly who is at fault for damages without adequate forensic-quality evidence. From slip and falls to on-the-job accidents to lost persons, liability is something that airports need to take into consideration.

A comprehensive video surveillance system is the first line of defense when limiting liabilities at airports. High-performance cameras constantly streaming HD video in every part of your airport means that you will have consistent, auditable video evidence should an event occur. Enterprise-level VMS platforms provide real-time viewing and alerts and integrate with 3rd party analytics for improved monitoring and detection. VMS systems can also provide searchable time and place information that helps to pinpoint the relevant video data amongst the large amount of stored data on the system, greatly reducing investigation times. This can be particularly important when incident scenes are captured by more than one camera and different angles; an “investigation engine” can quickly locate and collate video from multiple angles to further eliminate confusion. Video surveillance systems can also help prevent liabilities from occurring in the first place.

Integrated analytics can help to track people through an airport in every area, and identify when a problem may come up without requiring complex training for operators. Object detection can notify security personnel if something is left behind or in a position where it might cause risk. Wrong-way monitoring sends an alert if someone or something is moving in an unexpected direction, and perimeter detection can sense when an area is being breached either at all or by an unauthorized person. Facial recognition can compare faces of people in an airport with a designated watchlist. Advanced VMS systems can even anticipate choke points based on crowd movement patterns, enabling a proactive response.

When thinking about liability prevention with a video surveillance system, cameras are critical both to helping prevent liability and to defending any airport in the event an incident occurs. Better cameras provide better data, with high definition cameras capturing better video images that allow analytics to perform accurately and consistently. Cameras with wide dynamic range (WDR) can capture usable video in areas with challenging lighting conditions, and panoramic cameras can capture a wide area while also allowing for PTZ functionality in certain models.

Liability at airports is an important consideration when installing or updating a video surveillance system. Digital high definition cameras can help to provide high quality images to accurately capture incidents, in addition to providing a platform for analytics that can help to prevent issues before they happen. Storing video data to be easily searchable will help provide evidence quickly in the event of an incident.

An airport is a massive hub, moving hundreds of thousands of travelers through a large facility hosting hundreds of employees and vendors. Video surveillance can improve operational efficiency and help to give airports facilities the edge in this ever-changing environment.

Why Securing Your Airport Starts at the Perimeter

In recent years, airport security has been identified as a top priority. Inside the terminal, surveillance and security systems have been modified, enhanced, and strengthened. However, security weaknesses remain—most prevalently, at the perimeter of the airport. While any flier can easily see the changes that have made interior security more stringent, perimeter security is much less tightly controlled. There are a number of concerns that are specific to airport perimeter security, and ensuring that an airport is secure at the perimeter presents a variety of unique challenges.

Many airports have no more than a chain-link fence between the Air Operations Area (AOA) and the outside of the airport. Runways, taxiways, aircraft, and other assets protected only by that fence are incredibly vulnerable to anyone with reasonable climbing skills. It’s even easier to use a vehicle to break through a chain-link fence, as shown by several recent high profile perimeter breaches where civilians have taken their car for a joyride down an airport runway. Airports near water are less vulnerable from vehicles, but anyone with a boat can paddle up to the site and gain access to the AOA. Reports find that airport perimeter security is breached almost once every ten days.

Solutions for automated perimeter security can help to address this challenge. Today’s surveillance systems can incorporate analytics to monitor the fence line, detect breaches or potential breaches, filter out time-wasting false alarms from animals or blowing debris, and alert authorities quickly when action is needed. And because perimeter security can be integrated with the airport’s surveillance system, there is no need to train personnel on a new system or increase your personnel deployment to compensate for new security operations. These solutions are easily deployable, and they function in all environments and weather conditions.

Users have a variety of options to tailor the system to their perimeter security needs. If your terminal has several distinct restricted areas, your virtual perimeter can designate those areas individually. Automated alerts can be sent to localized security personnel to control incidents as they happen in real-time, and these intelligent alerts will only be sent out if a breach event is occurring—ensuring that personnel need not make trips to the perimeter every time a bird flies over your fence. Smart thermal imaging is easily deployed over a wide area, with instant alerts notifying personnel where the breach is occurring. By monitoring both sides of your fence, perimeter security helps ensure that you are able to respond to breaches even before they occur, preventing costly maintenance and downtime and helping to ensure the safety of planes and passengers on the tarmac and in the air. Because large flat areas that have planes flying over them will have obvious issues with wind and vibration, it makes sense to choose cameras with built-in image stabilization in order to prevent shaking from causing false alarms. Perimeter security solutions with options that are tailored to your airport perimeter will make it easier for you to prevent breaches and other issues.

Airport perimeter security presents a significant risk and may be overlooked as a security issue in favor of security inside the terminal itself. However, overlooking the perimeter can result in costly, time-consuming, and incredibly dangerous incursions onto the tarmac, into aircraft or into the terminal. Automated security solutions make controlling the perimeter much simpler and more cost-effective, helping to reduce risk throughout the entire airport.