Bulgarian airports utilize IP VMS solution

Milestone Systems helps Varna and Burgas airports improve security and operational excellence


COPENHAGEN - August 12th, 2010. Milestone Systems open platform IP video management software is being used by Fraport AG to improve both security and operational excellence at Varna and Burgas Airports in Bulgaria. RAD Group has installed Milestone XProtect Enterprise software, operating several hundred Axis network cameras in both airports, with IBM servers and Cisco network infrastructure.

At the end of 2006 the German-Bulgarian consortium of the airport operator Fraport AG and the Bulgarian logistics company BM Star won a bid for the operation of both Varna and Burgas Airports – gateways to the popular Bulgarian Black Sea tourist region that includes Sunny Beach. Called the 'Summer Capital' of Bulgaria, Varna and Burgas Airports are at the heart of the area, which includes developed business communities, close to both resorts and transport facilities. Over a 35-year concession period, Fraport Twin Star Airport Management will be operating and investing in the development of both coastal airports.

Prior to 2008, Varna and Burgas Airports had individual systems for different tasks, and analog surveillance cameras. The analog technology had limitations in quality like the inability to monitor remotely between the two airports, to expand the systems, or to integrate with other security solutions. Management could see that IP technology was the way of the future and they did not want to be single-vendor dependent, in order to get best price performance.

RAD Group, a Milestone Certified Partner in the Solytron distributor channel, has installed Milestone XProtect Enterprise software, operating several hundred Axis network cameras in both airports, with IBM servers and Cisco network infrastructure. Retention of the recorded video is set to the required 30-day regulation. Control rooms at each site with twelve 37” inch display screens each show the Milestone Smart Client views of both live and recorded video, which provide overview of the customs area, baggage claim belts, arrival and departure areas, shops, and gates.

Varna and Burgas Airports are using the Milestone surveillance not just for security but also for operational excellence. They monitor aircraft taking off and landing on the runways and on the apron to ensure proper servicing of the planes including baggage and food supply movements, vehicle traffic, and operations around the tanks for refueling. The Milestone surveillance system can be viewed and managed centrally by Fraport personnel for both of the airports or locally at each airport, depending on the user access given.

"With the implementation of Milestone XProtect Enterprise at both airports, Fraport gains the following improvements: unified video surveillance systems at both airports and centralization of the software, hardware and communications; surveillance and control of technological processes in airport servicing – runway, apron, fuel farm, security checks, passenger and baggage flow. The RAD Group manages the installation perfectly with the highest efficiency," says Mr. Hristo Botev, Head of IT, Fraport Twin Star Airport Management.

Scaling up and out over time

In 2008 the airports set up the Milestone IP video platform, learning the system thoroughly and fine-tuning it. The Milestone licensing structure makes it simple for the customer to pay as they grow. They have a PMA (Product Maintenance Agreement) that has already allowed them to upgrade to include the new XProtect Smart Client 5.0, released in February 2010. This has shown them how they can continue with future upgrades and expand their installation over time. The PMA thereby protects their cost of ownership, giving them return on their investment for years to come.

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