Another high-flying security improvement

Visitors to this year’s edition of IFSEC may very well have found themselves at London’s Heathrow, one of world’s busiest airports. Heathrow serves more than 190,000 arriving and departing passengers every day, who come via 184 different destinations from 80 countries.

Considered a small city within a city, the airport employs more than 76,000 people, all of whom need to pass through various levels of security to get to and perform their jobs.

Even before employees come into contact with the airport’s many visitors, they need to pass through behind-the-scenes restricted areas that are manned by security staff. Processing so many people requires the airport to look for new ways in which to step up operational efficiency while still meeting the stringent, and ever-changing security considerations.

Security ImprovementRecently, Heathrow began deploying CEM System’s emerald multi-functional touch screen terminals in the airport’s ID centre, as well as around Heathrow’s Campus, where cargo, staff, and crew are processed before gaining access to the airport proper — an area where the highest level of security is required. CEM has had a relationship with Heathrow for more than 20 years and currently secures the airport’s five terminals with a combination of its AC2000 product line and software modules.

emerald, which is a touch screen reader and a controller combined, provides real-time information at the edge on such items as access card status, scheduled visitors, systems alarms, and even information more directly related to time and attendance functions, such as first and last swipes for a card.

With employment changes being made on a daily basis, AC2000 keeps track of details for each person, so those whose privileges have or soon will expire are easily identified. Time savings are enhanced through the ability for users to change a PIN without having to contact the system operator.

Beyond being security devices, emerald can be used to disseminate information. For example, instead of issuing memos and having meetings, the new terminals can display health and safety notices, company updates and even advertisements, the latter of which can help offset some of the cost.

Anyone who has waited for their flight crew to arrive at the gate, or waited for a grounds crew person to unload the bags, understands that airports are all about time management. New products such as emerald are providing a needed intersection between quick, efficient people processing, and heightening the level security a busy airport such as Heathrow requires.


What other ways can security solutions help an airport with operational objectives? Let me know in the comments section below.


Source: Tyco Blog

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