Using Modern Technology to Improve Airport Security and Safety

Many of today’s busiest airports have miles of perimeter area to secure. As a result, many perimeter security breaches occur each year, leaving airport officials feeling overwhelmed and reducing public confidence in airport security and safety. There is no cost-effective way to patrol the boundaries of the most massive airports, but that doesn’t mean administrators and security teams can’t find better ways to detect and respond to intrusions.

The Prevalence of Perimeter Breaches

Airport perimeter breaches are reported quite frequently in the media. While it’s true that these stories garner a lot of attention because of their sensationalism, it’s also relevant to note that many cases of airport perimeter breaches go unnoticed by the general public. One recent report from the Associated Press uncovered the fact that hundreds of perimeter security breaches have occurred since 2004.

Airport Security

The Potential Consequences of Perimeter Breaches

Not all people attempting to breach airport perimeter security are doing so with ill intent. However, in most instances, the apprehended subjects admit to intending to board planes while they were being serviced or otherwise disrupting airport security. Many carry weapons, and the intrusions wind up costing airports millions of dollars.

Effective Airport Security Strategies

Experts contend that the most effective airport security strategies use multi-layer approaches such as those employed by the TSA. When it comes to perimeter security, that may mean using not just patrols and video surveillance but also motion detection technologies and taller security fences. However, even with several of these individual tools in place, protecting miles-long airport perimeters poses serious challenges.

Potential Solutions

Security teams that can aggregate all of the evidence and data provided by surveillance cameras, access control systems, motion detection logs, license plate readers, and other crucial security infrastructure will be better able to protect and manage their perimeters. It’s still relevant to note here that an effective security protocol will include multiple approaches to monitoring and securing the perimeter. Modern technological solutions can and should be used to accomplish this goal. They can include:

  • Buried cable detection sensors
  • Microwave sensors
  • Fence detection sensors
  • Trip-wire analytics
  • High-resolution cameras to capture long-range imagery
  • Alerts sent to monitoring centers or security personnel’s smartphones for immediate response

The key is to provide security personnel with all of the tools required to identify breaches immediately and mount a quick response. While there is no way to prevent people from attempting to breach airport perimeters, security teams should be able to prevent them from succeeding.

Why These Changes Are So Essential

Each time an intruder makes it onto the tarmac, the public loses a little more faith in airport security’s ability to ensure their safety. Airports spend millions of dollars on discovering the breaches, apprehending the suspects, and paying for the public relations campaigns required to regain public trust. In some cases, they also face lawsuits as a result of inadequate security.

It takes a substantial investment to put into place modern, comprehensive perimeter security solutions. However, that investment will pay off in the form of improved passenger and employee safety and reduced harm to airports’ public reputations.