Security with an International Flavor

Security with an International Flavor

From security check to perimeter protection: Video security for Cancun Airport

It is Mexico’s second busiest airport, after Mexico City, but the biggest for international passengers: Cancun Airport. The airport is situated on the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, and serves a growing number of visitors coming from all over the world to visit Cancun’s Maya heritage or to enjoy the beautiful beaches.

An Explosion in Passenger Numbers

The number of passengers has been growing quickly, from 7 million in 1999 to approximately 23 million annually today. The number of visitors is also expected to increase rapidly thanks to new mega-resorts already in construction all over the area. Major international airlines, as well as charter airlines, have direct or connecting flights to Cancun every day. Now, more than ever, Cancun Airport is easily accessible from almost every major city in the world.

To handle the growing number of passengers, a fourth terminal has been put into operation this year, making it Mexico’s only airport with four terminals. With the number of visitors increasing significantly, passenger safety and security has become more demanding and has required a new comprehensive security solution.

The airport operator ASUR runs nine airports in the southeastern state of Mexico—including Cancun, Cozumel, Huatulco, Merida, Minatitlan, Oaxaca, Tapachula, Veracruz and Villahermosa. It is the third largest airport services company for passenger traffic in Mexico.

Based on its extensive experience in airport operations, ASUR determined that it needed to redesign video security at Cancun Airport to have one system operating across all four terminals. Bosch was selected not only to equip the new Terminal 4 with video cameras but also to integrate the existing video security systems of Terminals 1, 2, and 3 into one comprehensive video surveillance solution which could be managed centrally from one unified platform.

Covering Specific Needs

In Terminal 4, nearly 600 cameras of different series and types have been installed to cover the specific needs of the different areas both inside and outside the terminal. Cameras used include both 1080p and 5 megapixel resolution fixed and moving cameras, such as the FLEXIDOME IP 7000 VR, AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD, and a mix of IP 4000 and IP 5000 series cameras.

The cameras are used for a wide range of applications. Inside the building they monitor the security and baggage check, the waiting areas, the offices and flight tower as well as the convenience stores. Outside the terminals they check the airport perimeter areas and all access points to the airport as well as the airfield and runway. Bosch cameras with starlight technology provide clear images regardless of lighting conditions, delivering full color images in the dark beyond the point where other cameras turn to monochrome images.

Fulfilling a key requirement set by ASUR, all new cameras in Terminal 4 are integrated into one video security solution that includes the existing cameras of Terminals 1, 2 and 3. The Bosch Video Management System (BVMS) serves as the joint platform to centrally manage almost 1,800 cameras across the four terminals, including their recordings. The video streams of all cameras are safely stored on multiple Bosch DIVAR IP 6000 network video recording units with 92 Terabytes of available storage capacity.

Managing Data Volume

For reliable and easy management of the large data volumes, the video security solution includes four Video Recording Managers (VRM) from Bosch. The VRMs enable the cameras to stream relevant video data directly to the available DIVAR IP storage devices without the use of network servers. This saves costs and server maintenance while eliminating a possible single point of failure, thus increasing reliability. The available storage capacity is used most efficiently because the VRMs automatically balance the video stream load to the free storage volumes. Less redundant storage is required, and it is easier to respect retention times with minimal risk of overwriting.

Cancun Airport uses a central monitoring center, manned with 10 security managers around the clock. Every security manager has a screen that shows video captured by up to 25 cameras. To monitor the video cameras, security personnel can select camera positions manually, or they are automatically notified by alarms in the event of predefined alarm rules being breached based on the cameras’ built-in video analytics or motion detection.

Airports have considerable security challenges and incredibly demanding criteria for the technology used to protect passengers and employees and to prevent risks. With many different areas needing to be monitored, including perimeters, terminals and other passenger facilities, it is essential to have a comprehensive video surveillance solution. Cancun Airport serves as an excellent example of how a redesigned video system can enhance security for even the busiest of airports.

This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Security Today.

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