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The Role of Surveillance in Intelligent Airports

29 August 2017

In this special Interview Room video, we explore why one of the fastest routes to an Intelligent Airport is through surveillance.

With airport operators under increasing pressure to protect passengers, prioritizing customer service alongside safety, security, and operational efficiency has become an unavoidable balancing act.

This challenge has given rise to the concept of 'Intelligent Airports', where everything, and everyone, is connected. We asked David Aindow, Product & Technology Director, and Greg Alcorn, Divisional Director - Transport & Infrastructure, for their thoughts on the evolution of airport surveillance, and the impact of increased integration on interoperability and passenger experience.

Transcript - Intelligent Airports: Where Everything and Everyone is Connected

The evolution of modern surveillance

DA: Modern surveillance has evolved beyond the use of simply video. It's now all about data and integration.

There's a wide range of different systems that are used to integrate with in airport security. For example, access control systems, fire detection systems, and perimeter detection systems, would all be related to the safety and security, and quite typically tied into the surveillance system.

However, in modern airports there is also a demand for wider areas of integration, for example into the airport operational database systems, into baggage scanning systems, and passport control systems.

GA: Intelligent airports really mitigate risks in two ways. they are either trying to identify where there is no risk, or they are trying to identify where there is a heightened risk. And risk mitigation is obviously a key component to ensuring the safety and security of your airport. So you are looking for things that might be out of place, or things that are going a little bit differently.

Engineering a great customer experience

GA: I think we are in an exciting time right now, where analytics are playing a key part in the operation of the airport.

We're not only seeing the benefits from improving that passenger experience, but we're also benefiting from what we have for a long time around security.

If you take an area in either your concession, or around your security check in, or where a crowd is building up, it poses two situations. One is that this is ultimately reducing that passenger experience; we all know what it is like to be stuck in a crowd, or in a long queue, or being blocked when you are trying to get to your gate. And then there's also a security risk.

DA: Video analytics can pick up long queues, length of queue time, and also density of people in an area, and notify this event through to the operators in the control room to enable them to make sensible decisions, such as opening up further security lanes.

GA: I think probably the three key benefits to a passenger in an intelligent airport is that you are going through a safe airport, that is efficient, and that is enjoyable.