Indianapolis airport secures parking structures with call boxes while a charter bus company keeps an eye on everyday threats with video surveillance

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Indianapolis airport secures parking structures with call boxes while a charter bus company keeps an eye on everyday threats with video surveillance

About five years ago, the Indianapolis Airport Authority pulled up stakes and moved to the other side of the city’s airfield with new facilities and new security systems.About five years ago, the Indianapolis Airport Authority pulled up stakes and moved to the other side of the city’s airfield with new facilities and new security systems. Among them, a group of call boxes were installed to offer customers peace of mind and security. Located 16 minutes from downtown Indianapolis, the airport averaged about 140 flights per day in 2012, serving approximately 7.3 million passengers. It accomplished this by serving 32 nonstop destinations on eight major airlines.

As one of the first new airports to open in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, Indianapolis International Airport (IND) is a 1.2 million-square-foot complex just off Interstate 70, which is strategically located from several major U.S. interstates, including I-65, I-865, I-69, I-70 and I-74, all of which connect to the city’s I-465 beltway.

The newness of the airport also means it is a destination and launching pad for both commerce and community. As the eighth largest cargo center in the United States and the home of the second largest FedEx Express operation in the world, more than 2 billion pounds of cargo were managed at IND in 2012. This is a key economic catalyst for development in central Indiana and the Midwest.

As impressive as these economic numbers seem, however, it is the customer that gets top billing from airport authorities. At the old airport, travelers who needed assistance only had a telephone in the box to call for help. It worked...most of the time. Today, travelers who need immediate help simply pick up a receiver on a Talk-A-Phone call box to be connected to guest services or, if it is a medical emergency (or worse), they are connected to the airport’s 911 services.

“The transportation industry is one of our core markets,” said Sam Shanes, chairman of Talk-A-Phone. “We’ve been involved in several airport installations, including airports in Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and many others. Ensuring the security of passengers in the travel sector is something we take very seriously.”

One layer of security that IND airport officials installed is call boxes in numerous common areas within the parking structure: the parking garage, in surface parking areas and strategically placed at gate access points.

“Having these call boxes is another service we are pleased to provide to our passengers with as an added sense of security,” said Airport Operations Center and Emergency Operations Center Manager, Andy Burnett. “The system at the old terminal was a telephone in a weatherproof box. Our design team planned for reliability and reputation in planning for this solution.”

Though the call boxes serve more than one function—in short, for non-emergencies— operators patch the call through to guest services and are able to assist passengers with common questions about locations and general services.

Airport officials also worked diligently with Talk-A-Phone to produce aesthetically pleasing call boxes, and passengers are able to spot the towers and know that there is shelter there, as well.

“This is one more layer of security for our passengers,” Burnett said.

While airports across the nation may seem the most visible in terms of highvolume transportation, charter bus service also carries thousands of passengers on a weekly basis, making it a booming business nationwide.

Miller Transportation Inc. has been providing reliable charter bus service to the Indiana and Kentucky region for more than 25 years. Based in Indianapolis and Louisville, Miller Transportation offers the largest selection of modern motor coaches in the Midwest, specializing in charter, minibus, trolley and shuttle van transportation. It is renowned in the industry for its superior professionalism with a fleet of CVSA-certified buses, uniformed drivers and a large service facility staffed with highly-trained mechanics.

Tens of thousands of people use chartered bus services every day to go to school and work, to visit entertainment venues or to vacation in places near and far. Factors, such as an aging U.S. population and higher fuel costs, have led to increased travel by bus. To leverage the higher demand for chartered bus service, Miller built a $5 million state-of-the-art facility in Louisville in 2013, consisting of a 26,000-square-foot bus maintenance center and a 24,000-square-foot administrative office, connected by a walkway.

Miller turned to integrator Indatus of Louisville, a full-service, data communications contractor, to provide phone systems, network infrastructure, cabling, building access and video surveillance for the new building.

“Because it was new construction, we were able to install cutting-edge infrastructure and network cabling for both the company’s LAN and for the video surveillance system,” said Scott Langley, Indatus project manager. “We also put in an access control and phone system. This is truly the latest in data communications technology.”

When it came time to install the video surveillance system, Langley was asked to engineer it so that not only would it provide visual recordings of everyday threats, such as vandalism or theft, but also give management vantage points to remotely monitor the goings- on inside the maintenance center with its bus lifts, wash bays, fueling station and busy mechanics. Additionally,

Miller wanted cameras to capture buses coming in and out from its active parking lot in the rare event of an accident. Indatus recommended that Miller install a Toshiba NVSe network video recorder in both the garage and the office building. Each NVSe is equipped with its own separate NIC cards, keeping camera traffic off the company’s LAN. As a safety precaution, Indatus purchased additional licenses for the two NVRs; in case one went down or was sent out for repairs, the other could pick up a few cameras from the other building.

Miller installed central station software on both NVSe units for complete remote access, set-up control, user administration, video backup, live viewing and powerful search capabilities. The recorders have dual monitor support via HDMI and DVI, a feature that Indatus uses in the garage for viewing on a desktop monitor with sequencing for four cameras and provided management with Surveillix mobile software for viewing live cameras on smartphones and tablets.

Indatus installed 34 Toshiba IP cameras in the garage and another 22 inside the administrative office. IP dome cameras, with 1080p HD resolution, were deployed inside the buildings, while IP bullet cameras went outside. Both cameras have the high resolution necessary to capture small details over large monitoring areas. For example, after the building was complete, someone drove over an island and left deep rut marks in the new sod. Miller was able to review the video and quickly identify the driver by using the preview search.

The IK-WD14A camera offers builtin SRLED to help capture video in near complete darkness along with a wide dynamic range for challenging back lighting environments. The camera also offers simultaneous H.264/MPEG4/ MJPEG streaming for automatic bandwidth prioritization, enabling seamless, full frame (1920 x 1080) video at up to 30 frames-per-second for both live viewing and recording. Imaging performance is further enhanced by the camera’s onetouch, 3x, remote zoom, remote focus and broad-angle pan and tilt.

“High definition is the most prominent trend in the IP camera space,” said Sergio Collazo, director of sales and marketing for Toshiba Surveillance & IP Video. “The IK-WD14A is a natural extension of Toshiba’s IT culture and history of innovation in consumer, high-definition video.”

Outdoors, Indatus selected a rugged Toshiba, IP-66-rated, bullet camera to withstand the punishment of wide temperature swings, rain, ice and snow. Plus, it is tamper- and vandal-resistant, in the event that intruders attempt to disable it. And, like the IK-WD14A, it has advanced IR LEDs to provide 0.0 lux minimum illumination so nothing outside escapes detection.

This article originally appeared in the November 2013 issue of Security Today.

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