Large-, medium-, and small-sized airports operate huge physical locations with extensive perimeters and a host of critical areas that must be guarded against a number of intrusions. Humans on foot or in vehicles can pose serious threats to life and property, not to mention the financial and PR costs arising from airport shutdowns, theft, and vandalism.
Another concern for airports is the growing frequency of drone incursions into airport airspace, with the potential danger to life and property should a drone hit a plane or fly into an engine. It is no secret several airports have been shut down and forced to ground flights over the past several months due to drone reports in and around restricted airspace near airports.
According to a study from researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the FAA recorded 6,117 reports of near encounters between manned and unmanned aircraft within the National Air Space from 2014 to 2018. These statistics leave a massive public safety concerns around drones colliding (intentionally or unintentionally) with airplanes for airports across the world. Airports such as Dubai Airport, as well as both Heathrow and Gatwick in London, have already felt the effects of drone sightings in their airspace with grounded flights and delays.
In order to protect against the dangers of intruders at airports, security teams are turning to physical security solutions to monitor both ground and low altitude airspace for intrusions. Common physical security practices include physical fence barriers, video cameras, access control, audible alarms, and more. But one area of the physical security space that’s missing is the first layer of defense – the long-range detection BEFORE someone gets to the fence line or inside the airport’s airspace.
To insure physical security at airports, security teams need to:
- Monitor extensive perimeters and grounds to detect, track, and respond to intrusions.
- Enhance situational awareness, improve deterrence and response, and mitigate the costs associated with airport intrusions, including airport closures, lost revenue, lower customer satisfaction, negative PR, and potential safety hazards posed by airport intruders.
- Integration several technologies to provide full situational awareness of the airport, including radars, cameras, physical fence barriers, access control, and more.
- Implement a long-range surveillance radar solution to detect intrusions at long enough ranges to give airport security stakeholders more than 20 minutes’ notice of an impending intrusion to be notified, undertake an assessment, and take proactive steps to interdict intruders before a range of negative effects took place. (This has happened at a customer site on multiple occasions using OWL’s GroundAware radar solutions.)