Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Updates Its Security Management Platform

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will be getting a security management system upgrade, using the Pro-Watch system. The upgrade was announced by Honeywell on Tuesday, and will merge access control and enable the airport to meet changing security guidelines.

As part of the system's implementation, the airport will be turning to a DESFire smart card badging system that will merge the airport's access control platform, including card readers, access controllers and related electronics. Honeywell noted that the access control switch-over will also prep the airport for future use of biometrics as a personnel identifier.

According to David Ruch, the director of information systems for the airport, the change was prompted by a growing decay of older technology and an inability to maintain the older system.

“We had 700 magnetic stripe badge readers in the field that we could no longer buy replacement parts for,” said Ruch. “We needed to upgrade the obsolete field hardware and decided to upgrade the software at the same time.”

The technology that the airport chose -- Honeywell's Pro-Watch platform -- allows the airport to not only provide full feature access control, but the system also supports alarms, badging and visitor management, surveillance video and even time and attendance. The scalable system, like many of today's full-featured systems, allows for remote alerting via emailing of alarms and events.

The system will be installed by ProTec, an integrator from the Pacific Northwest, and an authorized dealer for Honeywell Integrated Security.

“The technology the airport is currently using wouldn’t align them with future government standards,” said Steve Washburn of ProTec, in a statement released by Honeywell. “Eventually, the new Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS 201), the Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC), and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 are going to set the precedents – a significant reason why the airport needed to update their current system.”