Birmingham International Airport upgrades surveillance system

Nov. 3, 2008
Airport works with Tyco to move to an IP system as it adds hundreds of cameras

Birmingham International Airport has paid for amassive expansion and upgrade of its security system.

The proposals will see hundreds of new cameras, with an internet-based system to let the airport keep its footage in digital quality for a month after it is recorded, making it easier to track people on archive.

The airport has 700 cameras, but they are running on an analogue system, rather than digital IP video surveillance needed to save videos online.

The move is part of a huge upgrade of facilities that will see pounds 1 million a week spent. And it comes as the latest security upgrade at airports increasingly become a focus in the global war on terrorism.

Two men are on trial accused of planning an attack on Glasgow Airport last year. Glasgow unveiled a new pounds 12million security search zone to detect explosives and liquids in people boarding flights.

And this month an investigation was launched at Birmingham after a security blunder allowed a number of passengers to pass through immigration without producing passports.

In the description put out on a contract bidding website, the airport said: "Birmingham International Airport is proposing to migrate its multi-user CCTV system of 700 cameras from an analogue system. to one based on IP. The proposal is to retain them a jority of the existing analogue cameras and expand the system with 300 IP cameras. Facilities will be required for the recording of all cameras at an evidential quality, for a minimum of 31 days and the system will have a range of sophisticated analytic features available."

Four contractors went for the pounds 640,000 job through electronic bidding. The eventual winner was Cambridge-based Tyco Fire and Integrated Solutions.

Tyco, which has 40 years' experience in surveillance technology, works with global airports on CCTV.

Its transport division has worked on projects including the Rotherhithe tunnel, London, and security system for the M25. A spokeswoman for Birmingham International Airport said: "Following a thorough tender process, the contract to upgrade to airport's CCTV system to digital has been awarded to Tyco."