Tennessee airport ramps up safety with wireless Milestone IP video surveillance

FAA and corporate clients' insurance requirements are met with the new system.


COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 2 November 2006

Smyrna Airport, just outside bustling Nashville, previously had only six analog cameras running over coaxial cables to videotapes that gave poor quality and required heavy manual operation. They had no cable infrastructure around the 1,700 acre facility, so a new networked surveillance system required wireless technology for total coverage.

The airport's new security solution includes a mix of Panasonic KX series Pan-Tilt-Zoom network cameras, with Pelco analog cameras converted to digital images via Vivotek video servers, all of it managed by Milestone XProtect's Enterprise IP video surveillance software. Dynamark Security has also integrated the video surveillance with an access control system.

The Smyrna Airport Public Safety Officers have gained full overview of the widespread facilities via one system that is flexible and scalable, making efficient re-use of existing hardware while introducing the IP platform that will serve them well for planned future growth. Adding new cameras anytime is easy, and remote access provides the ability to monitor activities anytime, from anywhere. The Milestone XProtect securely encrypted evidence has already proven useful for sharing images with other authorities to handle prosecutions or resolve other issues.

"The corporate aviation accounts have insurance requirements we couldn't meet before our force came on board and this system was installed. So we have lured business into this airport because of the new technology," says Joe Johnson, Chief of Public Safety at the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority in Tennessee.

Smyrna Airport started to use the new Milestone system in February 2006. They have a camera at every gate entrance and two PTZs on the new terminal building; one PTZ camera is on top of the control tower and gives a very good overview of the entire sweep of the airport. They can move the cameras around and add new ones anytime: the wireless network system is totally flexible.

"The primary security goal is to lock the airport down, to control ingress and egress. We make sure no one gets through the gates who should not," asserts Johnson. "Our officers do a great job with the surveillance. We're watching them and we've got control over our facility."

The airport has also used the Milestone software for dealing with an accident, when a pilot landed short of the runway. The authorities were pleased to learn that the video images were encrypted so they could prove there had been no tampering with the evidence of the event.

"The new system has really helped us a lot to monitor the facility. Any movement that happens at night, we've got it set up in the software to send an alert to check it. We're on duty 24 hours a day. If someone tries to fly in some illegal cargo or to compromise our airport security, I'm going to track him and catch him. And just this morning, we had a fuel tanker hit a fence, so we've been working that case with the Milestone images to resolve how that happened," adds Johnson.

The Federal Aviation Administration recommends that every commercial airport provide enhanced law enforcement and security by June 2007.

"We are ahead of schedule: we've already had our FAA and TSA inspections. As a matter of fact, the FAA is bringing other people in to see this system because they want to make other airports aware of its capabilities," states Johnson.

Smyrna Airport is very well situated for the community's increasing travel needs: in the heart of Tennessee and the geographic center of the Eastern United States, with a climate that stays mild during the winter season. New fleets of micro-jets are being ordered in the US, and recent reports indicate that corporate business and commuter taxi flight services are going to increase significantly in the coming years. Smyrna Airport is ready.

Smyrna Airport has a long history and a bright future. There is a combination of military, corporate and small business services as well as significant flight training with over 100,000 flight operations per year. The airport's Air Traffic Control Tower is staffed 7am-7pm and the Public Safety Division runs 24/7. The airport's Public Safety Officers are cross-trained in police, fire and rescue Emergency Medical Services. Now they also have the most advanced surveillance tools with Milestone IP video as the platform.