Airport perimeter security is characterised by a blend of traditional and modern methods
Effective perimeter protection involves rapid identification of potentially hostile or illegal activity, before the risk escalates and poses a danger to people and critical assets.
In planning perimeter security at an airport, it is necessary to conduct careful risk analysis to determine potential threats. The level of expected damage and the likelihood of occurrence determine the risk potential, which can then be used to establish security objectives and vulnerability.
“An airport can be threatened from a number of directions, so dividing the perimeter into clearly structured zones helps to determine security measures that make it possible to prepare rapid and secure response to any scenario,” said Gert Rohrmann, technical manager for the solutions division of Siemens Building Technologies UK.
A systematic approach involves adopting a zone-based methodology to monitor the path of a subject across a scene over a period of time. This enables analysis of multiple factors such as speed, direction, size, and shape to distinguish a potential intruder from a false alert.
“Sensitive areas can be protected by alarm zones, and virtual barriers can be created where it is inappropriate to install physical fences,” Rohrmann noted. “Alarms can be prompted by simple activities such as vehicles or individuals moving into restricted areas, or via complex parameters such as object speed or size. Secure zones are generated by creating area boundaries on digital site maps, and adjusted using preset shortcuts to respond to changing requirements.”
Effective perimeter security detection will also protect the airport apron where aircraft are parked, loaded, unloaded, and refuelled. Systems include long-range conventional video and thermal-imaging surveillance cameras, motion detection sensors, and ground-radar detection and tracking. Thermal-imaging cameras can be used to record individuals and objects over long distances without additional light sources and they have the advantage that they are much less affected by snow, mist, or fog, making them a viable choice for challenging locations.
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