Parking facility caters to 24-hour traffic, addresses security concerns
- By Courtney Dillon Pedersen
- Mar 03, 2010
Fine Airport Parking in Tulsa, Okla., is much
more than just a parking facility.
Its 10 acres provide capacity for more than
2,000 indoor and outdoor parking spaces in four
parking lots surrounding a five-story main building.
For more than 25 years, it has been the safest and
most secure way to park and reach the nearby international
airport. It also provides an array of amenities,
including valet parking, car wash and auto detail,
and oil and lube. Parking officials really try to pamper
The pampering includes security, which features more
than 130 network cameras from Axis Communication
and Arecont Vision and an IP video management
software system from Milestone, deploying the xProtect
Enterprise. To make it all run, Fine Parking has
four Dell 2950 servers and three NAS RAID-5 units
with more than 30 TB of storage for around-the-clock
recording. The infrastructure covers the main building
and adjacent lots on a dedicated LAN, with a
wireless setup for an economy-priced nearby covered
Fine now has a future-proof network platform for
all their business systems, which integrates their best-of-breed security solutions with their facility management,
ticketing and customer accounts. The Milestone
open platform integrates with LPR and other
analytics, such as RFID readers on customers' cars.
The clear images from megapixel cameras provide solid
proof for damage claims, saving Fine thousands on
the bottom line. The system's scalability and central
administration with remote access will easily roll out
to include new locations in other states as the business
continues to expand.
"It's a work in progress since we started this business
in 1983 with only 5 or 6 acres," said Mike Fine,
president of Fine Airport Parking. "We look for new
ways to serve and do more than what has been done
in this industry to keep people happy. This airport
handles about 3 million passengers a year, and our
business has grown along with our service offerings."
Fine chooses only the best for running his business,
from hiring the top detailer in the country to using the
most advanced surveillance system to ensure safety
and security for clients and their cars. According to the
latest Tulsa police records, Fine is the safest place for
airport parking. More than 130 security cameras constantly
monitor the facility for any suspicious activity.
The main garage is a well-lit facility to give comfort
and confidence to both customers and drivers. Fine
employees are on site 24/7.
"People are willing to pay for safety, and not just
for their cars," Fine said. "Women travelers especially
have strong concerns when it comes to parking lots. It
is all about comfort levels and personal safety, so the
security is really priceless."
Throughout the entire facility, implementation
partner SecureNet has installed racks with PoE
switches and UPS setups. If the power goes down in
a storm, Fine does not lose their surveillance. All the
lights are supported by back-up generators, as well.
Handling Liability Claims
Being able to see and document the quality and state
of each car's finish is important—both for ensuring
the best work possible for ultimate customer service
and for handling claims. The car wash area has surveillance
cameras installed from every angle, and the
megapixel models show every detail in total clarity.
Video with audio saves on claims and improves customer
"This system is great; it gives us the ability to
keep everyone honest," Fine said. "People see their
cars in a new light once they've been detailed—the
refurbished finish can show a ding they did not notice
before: 99 percent of most damage on the cars
is pre-existing, and now we can show them with the
In the past, Fine had paid up to $70,000 in damage
claims because there was no proof. Now, the
cameras provide clear and detailed video of each
car's condition upon arrival and departure.
Likewise, employee behavior, service and response
to customers can be managed better with the video as
proof or as a training tool. This teaching aspect also
is good for safety matters, improving procedures like
reminding staff not to talk on cell phones or to wear
seatbelts while parking cars.
"We are very customer oriented," said Scott
Glanz, director of operations at Fine. "They are
always in a hurry to make flights or get home;
the last thing they want is to have to wait for their car.
With the combined audio and video, we're able to know
what's going on and how our people are handling the
situations. I want to see what happened and resolve it."
Making the Most of the Technology
The surveillance software can send alerts. A train running
between two of the outdoor parking areas presented
potential access on its path from the street—a
security challenge easily handled by SecureNet installing
a camera on the train track gate between the lots.
An alert is triggered by Milestone's XProtect Matrix
when motion is detected, causing an image to pop up
on the monitoring screens, alerting to a possible danger
or a security breach.
The cameras by the shuttle bus stops monitor for
issues such as slip and falls, dropped baggage or altercations.
Cameras cover elevators, stairwells and
lobbies. In the money-counting area, an AXIS 212
camera has 360-degree visibility to ensure there are
no blind spots.
"Because we went with the IP approach, we were
able to create a wireless network out there," Dunn
said. "We also can add intercoms for any customers
who may want to communicate with the main building.
We can give Fine network connectivity for everything,
not just the cameras, with the Milestone video
triggered to record or send an alert on anything."
"It all integrates and rides on the network setup,"
Glanz said. "Part of the reason for us bringing in all
of this new technology with Milestone and the network
platform is to be able to centrally and remotely
manage new parking facilities in other geographical
SecureNet is the full-service partner for all of
Fine's IT, network, facility and security system installations
and repairs. Fine has a monthly maintenance
schedule to keep the IT hardware and cameras
"Open platform is interoperable and future-proof,"
Ganz said. "Our old facility management system
was proprietary. We were stuck with that vendor's
equipment, and some of it was becoming defunct.
Our new facility system, NetPark, is
Linux based with plug-and-play functionality
for readers and cash registers.
It gives us the ability to integrate with
the Milestone open platform, and we've
got the product maintenance agreement
that will always give us the latest
upgrades and innovations to stay ahead
of the competition."
"It's a night and day difference with
the big monitors showing the Milestone
live feeds, and how clear the camera images
are," Ganz said. "Being able to tie in
the video with our records system with
the license plate recognition software to
recognize each vehicle's movement and
locations, tying each history to each record,
lets us resolve any claims."
The Milestone LPR module writes
out the data in an ASCII stream that
is read by the NetPark software. When
it sees the license data, it connects it to
the entry or exit time and locates information
in the ticket system that can be
checked with the video for full documentation
of events from every angle
and in crisp visual detail.
Integrations Increase Efficiency
NetPark handles customers' information
using their tickets. They can pay as
they drive out the exits via credit cards
at the ticket stamp or go into the lobby
to pay cash. Fine is also able to track
stolen cars or criminals, without having
to physically search the entire facility
"There's more analytics we're going
to add in the future to alert to people
speeding on the ramps," Dunn said.
"Vidient, for example, can show if people
are driving the wrong way, which is
a serious safety issue. Milestone is the
only security software platform that
can combine multiple analytics from
different vendors in one interface."
Sleek Technical Setup
The central server room designed by
SecureNet is the ultimate in streamlined
high-tech beauty. The sleek black and
chrome rack stores the server hardware
and is movable on soundless castor
wheels. A special pull-out shelf houses
a flip-up monitor for viewing the Milestone
interface and administering the
system, and slips neatly and discreetly
back out of the way between uses.
The Milestone software is set to record
video 24/7, so the system's storage
needs are intense. Fine started out
with 16 TB then added another 8 TB
as more cameras were set up with five
Poweredge 2950 Dell servers for the
video processing and three NF600
NAS storage units, which are 8 TB
The Arecont 8180 cameras are megapixel
models with 180-degree viewing.
Even the remote parking lot can
be seen in very fine clarity. AXIS 209
cameras provide 640x480 resolution.
AXIS 212 models have the 1.3 megapixel
image sensor but output VGA for
digital pan-and-tilt capabilities. In the
Milestone software, Fine can schedule
the pan and tilt automatically, override
it to look in a certain direction or zoom
in digitally to see more details.
This article originally appeared in the March 2010 issue of Security Today.