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If the four-airport testing phase -- which should start in the middle of 2006 -- goes well, another 300 or so privately owned airports in the state could potentially be networked into the video system. The problem, as is often the case, would be finding the money. But the state, acting as the main contracting agent, could act as the main purchaser and keep the costs down, Duley says.
Extending the project to the state's largest airports, like Miami International (MIA), is certainly feasible, but raises certain political challenges. Such facilities have their own ingrained security policies and procedures, Duley explains. "It might happen someday, but it takes them sometimes a little longer to come around to a centralized vision."
Then again, private contractors may be more likely than airport operators to take the lead in this direction. Vidient CEO Brooks McChesney, whose firm has an IV system at San Francisco International (SFO), anticipates the day when data from SFO and the two other bay area airports are transmitted to the same centralized location.