Success Stories: Transportation Security

Sept. 16, 2011
A roundup of recent unique security applications & installations

Chicago Transit Authority: “If You See Something, Say Something”

Recent history shows that attacks similar to the subway bombings in London, Madrid, Moscow and even peaceful Minsk, are quite easy to orchestrate. The damage and casualties from those attacks are devastating, delivering a major blow to the economy and disrupting the fabric of life.

Most of the Transportation Security Administration’s $8.1 billion 2011 fiscal budget — or about 71 percent — is spent on securing our airlines. Only about 1 percent is spent on securing surface transportation. Unlike airport security, which relies on high-tech scanning equipment and heavy video surveillance, transportation security is dependent on eyes and ears of the general population.

The Chicago Transit Authority, the second largest transit agency in the nation providing services to 1.7 million riders daily on bus and rail networks is among many U.S. transit agencies that has adopted the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. “This campaign was borrowed from the MTA in 2002 and encourages riders to report any suspicious activity that they observe,” explained former CTA President Richard Rodriguez. “In addition, CTA has participated and continues to participate in training for a number of scenarios using a range of programs.”

According to the CTA Website, “if you observe an unattended package, witness anything unusual or see someone acting suspiciously, alert a CTA employee or call 9-1-1 immediately.”

Cell phone calls to 9-1-1 are a first thought; however, cell phones do not always work in the subway. CTA, like many transit agencies, has chosen to deploy emergency phones from Talk-a-Phone, which are easy to see and only require a push of a button to connect to the correct security personnel. Not only do they allow security personnel to instantly pinpoint the location of a caller, but they also provide the quickest way to contact security in case of an emergency. In addition to strategically placed emergency phones, all CTA trains are equipped with a two-way intercom system, accessible to riders during an emergency.

Emergency Phones, signage, lighting, emergency walkways have also been installed in the subway tunnels themselves, so that in the event passengers must leave the train between stations in an emergency, they can quickly and easily notify security. Since the emergency phones automatically notify security of their location, it is easier to tell passengers what to do, and to dispatch assistance to the right location. “We have blue lights affixed in places where telephones are located throughout the subway,” Myron Meredith explains in a public safety video produced by the CTA. “At those telephones passengers have the ability to push one button and they are able to talk directly to our control center. As they continue walking towards the emergency exit, there is a flashing blue light that will alert them to the location of that emergency exit, as well as the message that is playing that directs them to that emergency exit.”

Securing the transition points from one transportation medium to another is also a must. Emergency phones are strategically placed in such locations to allow the general public to report any suspicious activity. Personnel who are on duty at CTA’s control center alert both the Chicago Fire Department and the Chicago Police Department to emergencies on CTA’s system. Fire and police personnel train alongside CTA staff to familiarize themselves with the subway tunnels and elevated structure, so they can provide assistance to riders as quickly as possible when they respond to the scene.

“As field employees, we are in direct contact with our control center. Our control center has direct lines to the Police Department, the Fire Department and the OEMC [Office of Emergency Management and Communications],” Meredith says.
Parking garages and outdoor parking lots adjacent to airports also require a diligent approach when it comes to security. Proper access points planning, emergency phones and surveillance all play an important role in terror plot prevention. CTA’s Park and Ride lots use a combination emergency phone towers and pan/tilt/zoom surveillance cameras to quickly zero in on any emergency situation.

Editor's Note: Forrest Claypool is the current CTA President.

New Terminal at Delhi Airport Features IP Security Management

IndigoVision’s integrated end-to-end IP Video solution has been used for a 3,700-plus camera surveillance system at Delhi International Airport (DIAL) in its new Terminal 3. The new terminal was built as part of the massive infrastructure development for Delhi ahead of the highly successful 2010 Commonwealth Games. Delhi is India’s second largest airport and with the recent expansion can handle 34 million passengers per year.

Airports create demanding security environments, with multiple operators from different agencies and departments requiring access to live and recorded video 24/7, from different locations in and around the terminal building. This requires the surveillance system to be flexible, reliable, easy to use and low-maintenance in order to avoid any delays or problems in the operation of the airport.

The supplier’s Control Center Security Management Software is at the heart of the system and is used by operators throughout the airport. A distributed architecture enables Control Center workstations to be used at any point on the network, and the software provides advanced Identification Authentication Management (IAM) features, which ensure only the operators with the correct permissions are allowed to access the video. For added security, 120 cameras for the Immigration department have been allocated to a separate site database, recording on its own Network Video Recorders (NVRs).
A total of 80 workstations have been installed in three separate control rooms; the Airport Operation Control Centre (AOCC), situated in the terminal; the Airport Security Building (ASB), located off-site 850 feet away; and in the Air Traffic Control (ATC) centre, where aircraft ground movements are monitored. The AOCC, which is the main monitoring centre for the airport, boasts the biggest video wall in Asia. The 32x16-foot wall holds 28 70-inch screens that display the information inputs from all the airport departments through live camera feeds. Each screen can display up to 25 multiple camera images, providing the AOCC with the capacity to display 700 images at one time.

Monitoring so many cameras in such a complex building is a major task for any security team. DIAL has extensively deployed the supplier’s real-time analytics, which run at the network-edge in the IP cameras and encoders, to help operators improve efficiency and incident response. Analytics are configured to create alarms when certain conditions in a camera scene are met, automatically alerting operators to potential problems.

The airport uses a total of 57 of the supplier’s 10TB NVRs for recording video continuously for 30 days from all of the cameras. Ten of the NVRs are used as backups if the primary NVR goes offline.

Sonoma County Airport Deploys Security Management System

Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Sonoma County, California has chosen AMAG Technology’s Symmetry Security Management System (SMS) to upgrade its current security system and secure its newly expanded airport terminal.
AMAG and Electronic Innovations, an automatic entry and security management company, worked together to upgrade the current security system and to provide the newly renovated terminal with a security solution that will control access to the airfield, terminal and private areas.

The Symmetry SMS will be integrated with OnSSI’s video surveillance Ocularis system to provide airport security staff with an IP-based security solution. The system monitors and controls access to the airfield, terminal and other private areas via Symmetry’s ID badging. Twelve remote gates will be tied wirelessly to the Symmetry SMS that includes approximately 60 HID RK40 readers. Security alerts are automatically sent to key personnel’s PDAs and cell phones to provide instant notification of an alarm.

The Sonoma County Airport received $1,685,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to remodel and expand the passenger terminal, and is using an additional $750,000 of Passenger Facility Charge fees to add the security management system.

Saudi Airport Goes from 2,100 Analog to 274 HD Cameras

King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA), Saudi Arabia’s third largest airport, has deployed the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in 13 parking lots, its terminal lobbies, duty free shops, retail market, restaurants and coffee shops to capture, review and store indisputable evidence for quick and successful investigations and management.

“The system gives us the tools to effectively review and take appropriate action as quickly as possible to resolve conflicts and secure parking lots, terminal lobbies, duty free shops, restaurants, the retail market and coffee shops,” says Adel Safadi, manager of CCTV & Video Analytics Systems at Al Musbah Trading Group, which is responsible for the surveillance system at KAIA.

A total of 274 Avigilon HD cameras ranging from 1 MP to 16 MP provide coverage. All cameras are streamed and monitored in the airport’s state-of-the-art control room. Security personnel manage the system using the supplier’s Control Center Enterprise Network Video Management Software (NVMS) with HD Stream Management, which was built from the ground up to manage HD surveillance video.

The airport lowered installation and labor costs by reducing the number of cameras required from 2,100 analog-based cameras to 274 HD cameras. Leveraging JPEG 2000 compression technology and High Definition Stream Management technology, KAIA was also able to achieve high image quality with minimal network bandwidth requirements.

Canada Airport Authority Chooses G4S for Screening Services

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has selected G4S as the Security Screening Contractor for the delivery of Airport Screening Services in the Pacific Region, which includes Vancouver International Airport and 19 other airports.

The company will provide passenger, hold baggage and non-passenger screening. As Canada’s gateway to Asia, airports in the Pacific Region play a significant role in commerce and tourism. Screening services will commence on 1st November 2011.

Buffalo Airport Protects its Perimeter

Buffalo Niagara International Airport has selected the SightLogix video intrusion detection system for its perimeter security. The system was installed by U&S Services.

The design comprises Thermal SightSensor detection cameras for detecting and tracking intrusions over large areas and SightTrackers which automatically steer Pelco PTZ cameras to follow targets, providing complete situational awareness over the airport’s perimeter.

The system’s longer-range capabilities enabled the integrator to exceed the automated detection area originally specified in the design, thus reducing the number of poles, trenching and communication requirements.

“We evaluated several alternatives for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport perimeter security project and found [this technology] to be the best option for this challenging outdoor environment,” says Russ Stuber, President of U&S Services. “The system can operate with a high degree of accuracy in the snow, rain, fog and bitter temperatures of the Buffalo winter, while covering large distances to reduce the project’s cost.”

Detroit, Denver Award Contracts

HSS Inc. Aviation and Government Services has been awarded a contract by Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County International Airport to provide a variety of security services, including securing airport perimeters, monitoring deliveries, controlling access to parking lots and security areas, and checking airport employee and vendor credentials.
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County International Airport is Delta Airlines’ second largest hub and its primary Asian Gateway.

The company has also been retained as the security provider to Denver International Airport.
Denver International Airport is geographically the nation’s largest international airport and has been an HSS customer since its opening in 1995.

22 Airports in India Deploy Video Surveillance

More than 846 Infinova video surveillance cameras — including high-speed PTZ domes, mini-domes and fixed cameras, many with vandal-resistant day/night functionality — have been selected by airport authorities to combat terrorism and increase security at 22 airports in India.

The cameras, DVRs and switchers are seamlessly integrated with advanced video analytics software from Videonetics designed especially for airport security. The solution is to be installed by Falcon Eye Technology of Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
The 22 airports covered by the solution include Tirupati airport, serving one of the busiest pilgrimage centers in the world and Agra airport, serving tourist traffic to the Taj Mahal. Other airports include Agatti, Jaisalmer, Chandigarh, Dimapur, Gaya, Jamnagar, Jodhpur, Jorhat, Lengpui, Lilabari, Ludhiana, Mangalore, Nagpur, Patna, Shimla, Silchar, Tezpur, Trichy, Vizag and Varanasi.