Los Angeles Airports Upgrade to Contactless Access Control and Identification System for Staff

Los Angeles Airports Upgrade to Contactless Access Control and Identification System for Staff

The Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), which oversees airport operations for the city of Los Angeles, has awarded a contract modification to Unisys to upgrade its access control and alarm monitoring system, used to identify the 45,000 airport employees, contractors, police and others who work at the organization's three airports.

The work is an early step in LAWA's plan to move to a biometrics-based identification system in which workers at the airports will be identified based on personal attributes such as fingerprints.

LAWA awarded a contract to Unisys to operate and maintain the access control and alarm monitoring system in 2009.

Under the modification, potentially worth an estimated $10.3 million over one year, Unisys will provide services such as site assessments, engineering, installation and training on the system's new features. Unisys will also upgrade LAWA's network infrastructure to provide greater levels of reliability and security.

With the new modification, Unisys will replace the airports' existing magnetic stripe card readers with a contactless system that will make it more difficult for non-authorized individuals to access secure areas. The contactless system can also save money by reducing the wear on cards and readers associated with magnetic stripe systems. The readers will be installed at 870 access points in the airports.

“As the operator of one of the world's busiest airports, LAWA understands the need for secure airport facilities,” said Steve Soroka, managing partner, homeland security, Unisys Federal Systems. “Through our expertise in physical access control, identity management, video surveillance and mobile communications network systems, Unisys is helping LAWA build and deploy a security environment that can serve as a model for other aviation facilities.”

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