Knoxville Airport Buys VistaScape Perimeter Security Technology

VistaScape Security Systems announced that its Automated Wide-Area Surveillance platform will be part of an advanced perimeter security system at Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS).

Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority (MKAA), the governing body for McGhee Tyson Airport, chose VistaScape with the goal of improving the airport's security system. McGhee Tyson has supported and promoted growth in aviation security by hosting tests of security components that range from access control biometrics to explosive detection systems.

Comprehensive evaluation of the new system will be conducted by National Safe Skies Alliance (Safe Skies), which will provide the MKAA and the TSA with valuable information about the operational and security effectiveness of the solution. The project is funded by a grant from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

VistaScape's software works with surveillance cameras and other sensors to continually check for intruders and automatically alert guards to prevent security breaches. The software can monitor a variety of security sensors, such as bio, chemical, radar and GPS, with the ability to report abnormal activities and activate local cameras to visually inspect a signaling sensor. Cameras, microwave sensors and access control are among the equipment that McGhee Tyson Airport plans to integrate with VistaScape's software.

"McGhee Tyson is taking a multi-layered approach to perimeter security by using redundant security sensors tied together through software from VistaScape," said Tom Aiken, Director of Public Safety for the MKAA. "A secure perimeter is a core component in any airport's overall security strategy and this project will serve as a model for other airports around the nation."

McGhee Tyson Airport has contracted Safe Skies to perform the independent evaluation of the installed system. "As an independent and objective evaluator of leading-edge airport security solutions, Safe Skies will contribute our findings from the project to the TSA for the benefit of other airports across the nation," said Ken Martin, Senior Test Engineer at Safe Skies.

Despite intense media scrutiny on internal airport security issues, such as baggage and passenger screening, improved perimeter security at airports is also a major goal of the TSA. In a report issued in June 2004, "Further Steps Needed to Strengthen the Security of Commercial Airport Perimeters and Access Controls," the General Accounting Office (GAO) recommended stronger perimeter security efforts at U.S. airports.