Tampa Int'l Airport boosts surveillance system with Genetec VMS

Tampa Int'l Airport boosts surveillance system with Genetec VMS

Tampa International Airport (TPA) is located six miles from Downtown Tampa in the state of Florida, United States, and handles over 16 million passengers annually. Equipped with an analog-based DVR and access control system, the Public Safety and Security department at TPA followed strict security policies and procedures to safeguard passengers. So when TPA was able to secure funding from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), decision makers seized the opportunity to undertake a major security upgrade across the airport.

“It was all hardware based, so if we lost a component, we would lose a whole series of cameras and video,” said Safraz Samad, Security Project Manager at TPA. “It became difficult to pull up archived/recorded video, and it was hard keyed, so our team had to punch in codes to get to the camera.”

After drafting the system requirements and shortlisting a few different solutions, TPA finally decided that Genetec Security Center, which includes the Omnicast IP video surveillance system, was the right fit.

Taking a More Unified Look at Security
Today, the Omnicast video surveillance system manages over 800 cameras, and TPA has been pleased with the results. According to Samad, “Our police use Omnicast extensively and have archived over 100 cases in the last seven months. They are able to find video, open cases with more information and then close these cases faster. At the checkpoints, we have daily recoveries of lost or forgotten items which are resolved within minutes.”

Pulling up cameras at the click of a mouse has also helped the Tampa Airport security team respond to incidents much faster. Using Plan Manager, the map-based interface in Security Center, agents are able to quickly pinpoint cameras from a map of the building for immediate response. Samad elaborated, “We can easily find cameras by using many different tools like entering in text, looking through a tree list, or pulling them up from the maps. With Plan Manager, we can say ‘I'm on the south end of the airport, what cameras are here?' and then easily find what we are looking for. Under Security Center, Omnicast has also been unified with their existing access control system, so the Public Safety and Security department is now able to receive access control alarms within the same graphical user interface where video is being monitored. “It has made our jobs a lot easier in terms of managing alarms and for general usability,” explained Samad. “We have much more camera coverage and the cameras are linked to the access control system triggers, so we get recorded video instantaneously alongside alarms. The video replay is programmed however we want it, either 15 seconds or 30 seconds behind, and so we are able to mitigate these alarms and show that we didn't have a security breach, and if we do, get the appropriate people out there.”

Extending Operational Efficiency and Cutting Costs
Thanks to partitioning features in Security Center, both TSA and contractors like the parking management company can remotely access the cameras in the parking garages and at the screening checkpoints. Operational teams at TPA also use the cameras to help streamline the flow of traffic in and out of the airport, and anticipate crowds in security, customs or baggage.

 TPA's operational team also worked with Genetec to develop a unique custom application which provides secure video feeds of their airport tarmac on their website. The objective was to provide plane spotters and the general public with an extra little perk of viewing incoming airplanes as they land. “Genetec was extremely responsive in helping us accomplish this project, and we were able to save a lot of money through this custom application, as we didn't have to install an entirely new system,” commented Samad.

In the end, TPA is very happy with their security system upgrade as Samad concludes: “For our public safety and security operations, mitigating alarms and dispatching police is our priority number one. We have to maintain a certain response time to any alarm in the airport and handle these alarms appropriately. Now, with Omnicast and Security Center, we are able to do that much faster than ever before.”

Infrastructure at a Glance
The Omnicast video surveillance system manages over 800 cameras from manufacturers including Arecont Vision, Axis Communications, Pelco and more. The Arecont Vision cameras include 180 and 360-degree multi-imager devices, which provide 4 video feeds under a single camera license in Omnicast, pushing the number of video feeds up to over 1000. Over one petabyte of storage is available for video recordings on over 60 Pivot3 servers distributed in six locations throughout the airport.

According to Kevin Richmond, the consultant hired to design the video management system and oversee the system implementation, “We regionalized data storage within seven regions throughout the airport. The only time video has to be moved through the core of the LAN is when an individual outside a region where data is stored requests access to archived video.”


Share to:
Comments ( 0 )