Axis: Elvis Law about Safe Runways

27.06.2022 - Thermal cameras can protect an area at any time of day irrespective of the lighting conditions when coupled with video analytics software

Perimeter protection has become an important part of security systems, since in recent years to protect large and crowded facilities with enhanced defense became more and more a priority. Among those critical infrastructures’ perimeters there were airports, topping the list of all public places for their size and for the large numbers of people moving through daily. GIT SECURITY asked Elvis Law, Segment Development Manager, Smart City, APAC at Axis Communications about the specific requirements for airport security.

GIT SECURITY: What are the challenges associated with airport perimeter protection?

Elvis Law: It’s an obvious thing to say, but the expansive nature of airports and the lengthy perimeter means that there are numerous potential points of entry. A high-quality video surveillance system is essential in monitoring the entire perimeter and identifying any attempt at unauthorised entry. The environment can also be relatively hostile, with harsh weather conditions and even wildlife being a potential hazard. The system needs to be durable enough to withstand any conditions and deliver high-quality images in variable light conditions. The air pollution from aircraft engine and dusty environment is significant. The video surveillance system with self-cleaning feature or low dust attachable lens is desirable to maintain a high-quality system performance.

How do new intelligent video surveillance solutions address the perimeter protection challenges of airports?

Elvis Law: The combination of video surveillance cameras and motion detection software has expanded the range and capabilities of perimeter protection solutions from simple detection to complex intrusion analysis. One example is thermal (also referred to as thermographic) cameras, which, when coupled with video analytics software, can protect an area at any time of day, irrespective of the lighting conditions. Sensors using thermal technology are often well suited to airports as they offer excellent detection capabilities required for large estates.
Thermal sensors create an image using infrared radiation emitted by an object, such as a vehicle or a person and can detect activity, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at significant ranges, unaffected by anything but the most severe weather conditions.
When combined with video analytics, modern thermal cameras with sufficient processing power are able to distinguish between the type of intrusion target and alert the operator based on a pre-set list of conditions – this can include direction, speed, person and vehicle. Traditional cameras are also able to do this but are reliant on using visible light, which has inherent and obvious limitations.
Depending on local laws, camera technology can be used to monitor beyond the physical perimeter, providing an additional surveillance buffer and potentially allowing the operator extra time to respond. Solutions harnessing video analytics make it possible to trigger an alarm according to set rules, for example, if a person approaches within 50 metres of the fence, followed by a higher alarm level if that same person breaches a 10-metre zone, or is loitering for a certain time threshold in a specified zone.
With RF Radar integrated with PTZ camera, a second layer of protection over custom defined zone can be enabled with intruders or suspect vehicles path tracking and the corresponding video provided.

What are some of the associated costs with these systems throughout their lifecycles?

Elvis Law: IA Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculation takes into account all of the costs of the solution throughout its lifecycle, including: the material and human costs, costs of studies, installation costs of the system, the operating costs, maintenance costs, decommissioning and recycling costs.
Demonstrating a Return on Investment (ROI) of a security solution designed to prevent an incident can be difficult. For an airport, however, where any intrusion is likely to immediately affect operations, the ROI of perimeter protection can quickly become clear. Security personnel can work with their colleagues in the finance department to illustrate the cost of different types of security incidents; be they direct costs due to asset loss or destruction, costs associated with interruption to operations, or more subtle but equally damaging costs associated with reputational damage.
A tangible ROI of airport perimeter protection can also be demonstrated through more efficient use of security resources. A reduction in false alarms and the use of audio and signage to deter potential intruders remotely will create efficiencies, allowing personnel to be redeployed to other tasks such as improving the passenger experience.


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