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Law Enforcement/Security Industry

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

To Secure More Small Airports, Florida Tests a Video Network

Airport Security Report
via NewsEdge Corporation

Accountability in public spending is certainly a suitable idea for the airport security arena, Duley says. Post-9/11, most large commercial airports readily gobbled up the available federal grants. Plenty of money was spent, and much of it was spent inefficiently, as many observers have said. The needs of smaller airports, as well as other airport security systems besides passenger and bag screening, readily fell through the cracks, Duley adds.

Now, there are indications that TSA has been waking up to some of the economic realities. National priorities aside, the best security is also quite costly. So the agency increasingly seems to be thinking in terms of intermodal applications, greater operational efficiencies and increased cost savings.

The "economies of scale" the center wants to explore involve not just the cost savings of operating networked systems, but also the expense of finding the best system to install. Duley says that at a recent video trade show, he saw a dizzying array of vendors selling cameras. If each airport sent staff out to select and purchase their own systems, the duplicative expenses would be substantial.

Just last week, center officials met with DOT staff to select the three GA airports that will participate in the networked video surveillance test. As the selections haven't been finalized, Duley could not yet provide the facilities' names. The next step will be physical inspections of each participating airport to determine camera placement, among other logistics.

At least two types of technologies are being considered for the project. One, with direct security implications, would be the use of intelligent video (IV) software that can detect anomalies in the movement of people, vehicles and other objects on the airport grounds and send alarms to human operators, who would be stationed at the center. THL, the recipient of Airport Security Report's "2005 Excellence in Airport Security Award" in the Small U.S. Airport category, is already in the process of installing an IV system from Vidient Systems Inc.

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