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Quebec Airport maintains security with Genetec

Quebec Airport maintains security with Genetec
Located 20 minutes from the center of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, the Québec City Jean-Lesage International Airport (YQB) welcomes approximately 1.6 million passengers every year. Over 10 airlines and 360 weekly flights make it the second busiest airport in the province, after Montreal Trudeau International Airport. Always focused on improving the customer experience, the airport actively invests in technology to enhance airport efficiency and safety.

Over a decade ago, the Quebec airport underwent a major expansion to accommodate a growing demand for regional and international flights. For the security team, the expansion was an opportunity to review its existing security equipment, and invest in a more flexible and scalable IP platform that could accommodate any future growth.

The airport wanted to be able to keep some existing hardware investments and have the freedom to select any preferred hardware later on; an open architecture system was a top requirement. They also wanted the ability to integrate video with other key business and security systems to give operators a bird’s-eye-view of the entire airport from a single application.

After considering a few leading security solutions, the security team at the airport selected Security Center, the unified security platform by Genetec. Security Center combines access control, video surveillance, and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) system and other third-party applications in one intuitive solution.

Open and Scalable Platform Helps Airport Realize Security Enhancements

A phased upgrade first started with moving all video cameras over to the Omnicast IP video surveillance system of Security Center, and then involved implementing the Synergis IP access control system. Today, operators manage over 230 cameras from vendors such Axis Communications and Panasonic and hundreds of doors, 60 perimeter gates, and over 2000 cardholders from the unified security platform, Security Center.

The open architecture of the new security platform allowed the airport to choose technologies which were best suited to their critical environment, and add multiple layers of authentication and authorization including HID Global card credentials and biometric iris-scan and fingerprint technologies. Cardholders are assigned to groups with specific privileges which are set in accordance with federally-mandated regulations called the Restricted Area Identity Card Program.

All door events, possible perimeter intrusions or alarms triggered from other specialized systems are sent to operators who can quickly access nearby cameras to see what is happening, and follow detailed procedures to handle various incidents.

According to Christian Labrosse, Director of Security and Operational Control Center at Quebec City Airport, “The Security and Operational Control Center (SOCC) is our 911 station, where we manage calls, dispatch first responders and manage security incidents. In the Operation Center, we have both security and operational aspects, such as snow removal and gate management.”

Unified Platform Drives Efficiency for Both Security and Operations

Managing all systems from a single platform has helped security and operations officials identify unusual behavior or possible security issues before they escalate into active threats or cause major delays. For instance, if the system identifies a vehicle that is parked too close to an aircraft on the tarmac, a SOCC agent can call in to have the vehicle removed or investigated.

“The Security Center platform makes it faster for our agents to process and manage incidents,” continued David Robin, Manager of Safety and Security at Quebec City Airport. “The system doesn’t save agents, but it helps us be more efficient with the resources that we have on the ground.”

The airport has also been able to effectively enhance operations with the unified platform. Operators use the system to monitor an automated baggage screening system, and to quickly identify any problems that would cause delays. Other common bottlenecks at the airport, such at security screening or curbside pick-up and drop-off areas are actively monitored. If lines or cars are backed up, operators can dispatch more staff to help move things along.

“We have the opportunity to build security directly into the framework of the airport’s operations. This allows us to be more flexible, and to make sure that all needs are met,” explained Labrosse.

Undertaking Another Phase of Growth with Security Center

Investing in the flexible and scalable Security Center platform has been instrumental for the Quebec City airport which is currently undergoing another major expansion worth $277 million. By 2018, the airport will double in size, growing from 270,000 square feet to 540,000. Both access control and video surveillance along with other business systems will expand alongside the new construction and the refurbishment of the SOCC. When the expansion is complete, the total camera count is estimated to reach 500. Better vantages with the latest HD resolution and PTZ cameras are being considered.

“We already know the processes that work, and now we can make sure that all cameras and access readers are precisely installed to meet our needs and requirements,” said Robin. “We can be more specific about what we want. When the new terminal is completed, the Genetec Security Center platform will continue to be an integral part of our operations and security at Québec City Jean-Lesage International Airport.”

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