The Ins and Outs of Airport Access Control
Security Solutions for Airport Traffic Analyzed by PPG
Airports are generally in the public interest as they form the hubs of our globalized world today. The terminal area in particular is frequented 24/7 by thousands of people, so it is not surprising that attacks often occur there. The attraction for increasingly aggressive, often religiously motivated terrorists is obvious as large crowds = large potential for damage = high media visibility. And regarding the perimeter security of airports, it is not just about protecting an airport‘s grounds, but also about maintaining its integrity. PPG looks at risk assessment and the application of crash bollards, quick-folding or sliding gates and boom barriers in this complex environment.
Criminal or even terrorist attacks in the worst case, but also vandalism, unintentional security violations and acts of God such as heavy weather conditions often not only have expensive consequences, but also massively damage the image of airport operators. So comprehensive security concepts at airports are simply indispensable.
The size and complexity of modern airports, but also their ever-increasing security requirements due to increasing passenger and cargo volumes, require holistic, multi-level and effective security solutions. In addition, the various solution components must efficiently safeguard and support the smooth logistics of the airport, for example in the service area of the runways. An effective security concept should allow for simple but controlled access to delivery and service traffic, while providing protection for restricted areas, service areas, car parks, kerosene tank farms and taxiways.
Protection Against Hijacking
The area of aircraft maintenance hangars poses a specific security risk. The flag carriers in particular are attractive targets for terrorist attacks; the airlines or aircraft owned by or representing a state. Such an attack can seriously harm a country without the perpetrators even having to travel to their respective territories.
Hansruedi Voss, PPG German Sales, says, “As with the protection of inner-city or public places, the keyword is “Prevention!“ This applies especially to airports, although there is no universally applicable security concept because they differ considerably from one another in terms of architecture or infrastructure. Instead every multi-layered solution has to be tailor-made for that site. In addition to the particular area to be protected and the required level of protection, the perpetrator profile and the potential threat, the building layout and terrain contours all contribute to the decision process. The aim is to identify potential risks at an early stage before any risk arises.“
Comprehensive perimeter protection at airports can only be created by a combination of mechanical, electronic and sensory components. These include outer protection with crash bollards or other certified impact load-tested barriers at the external access and parking areas, efficient vehicle checkpoints with quick-folding gates or sliding gates and boom barriers, entrance control for strict separation with indoor access control systems, as well as supplementary video surveillance or intelligent external monitoring solutions such as outdoor surveillance systems, radar tracking, etc. These are complemented by integration into databases for digital, surveillance and automated detection or live recording and the tracking of operations around the whole airport area.
Comprehensive Airport Security
Hansruedi Voss adds “Perimeter Protection Group has many years of experience in securing airports around the world which, together with our certified product range, benefits our customers. These include taxiway gates with extra-wide openings for the convenient passage of aircraft, TÜV certified quick-folding gates and modern fencing systems. Our products are highly compatible and particularly well suited for inclusion in integrated central control platforms, databases or fence detection and outdoor surveillance systems.
Quick-Folding Security for Helsinki Airport
Finavia is a public limited company that operates 21 airports in Finland. Helsinki Airport is the largest, serving almost 19 million passengers in 2017. Among others, a major part of Finavia‘s services is the improvement of the security concepts and physical protection of its airports. The aircraft maintenance hangars are a specific security risk, but in general, the size, volume and complexity of modern airports demands reliable and holistic security solutions. A few years ago, Finavia decided to enhance the perimeter security around Helsinki airport, firstly by reducing the number of access points and secondly by replacing the existing access sliding gates and boom barriers by a more efficient and secure solution. GPP Perimeter Protection OY has a high reputation in Finland and a long relationship with Finavia. They chose the Entraquick quick-folding gate, which the company manufactures in Germany. The type-tested, fully cantilevered quick folder offers full-height perimeter protection in a closed position and unobstructed security for each entry or exit thanks to its trackless design. Its extremely high speed allows quick closing after each passage to support the efficient workflow that is necessary in daily operations at the airport. A solid bar infill and lever kinematics make the product stable and it doesn‘t require an additional floor lock in the closed position. Four Entraquick gates and a turnstile for pedestrians were installed initially. In 2017, a vehicle sluice for ambulances and firefighters was built, and a further two gates combined with Polarmaster, a central control solution from PPG. Further upgrades are planned for 2018.