ONE of the ten busiest airports in the United States, GeorgeBushIntercontinentalAirport, located 20 miles north of
downtown Houston, Texas, has 700 departures a day. With 9
domestic, 12 commercial, 40 cargo and 2 charter airlines operating on the site,
it has the highest on-time performance record on any major U.S. airport.

In the aftermath of September 11, the Department of Homeland
Security offered the Houston Airport System a $US3.5 million grant to improve
security measures at its 3 main airports. The largest of the 3, GeorgeBushIntercontinentalAirport, was the top priority. Located
between 2 major roads, Interstate 45 and Highway 59, it has a 30-mile perimeter
that needs to be monitored 24 hours a day.

The electronic security solution supplied by Honeywell gives
the big airport what Honeywell describes as a “first-of-its-kind” perimeter and
intrusion detection system that uses Radar Video Surveillance (RVS) and
Advanced Video Processing Systems (AVPS). Honeywell says the combination of
these technologies gives the airport the most advanced surveillance capabilities
of any airport in the U.S.

RVS is a software system originally developed by Honeywell
Aerospace and used to protect ports and to track missiles. It was adapted for
ground use and is used to monitor the airport’s perimeters. Meanwhile, AVPS
will monitor and analyse certain behaviours captured by video. It will be
deployed in areas where ground-based radar may be obstructed by buildings or
towers.

The airport will use a variety of Honeywell cameras as well
as sophisticated fixed and PTZ FLIR thermal cameras that will allow operators
to view miles of the airport’s perimeter. The cameras will be linked to
geospatial maps allowing for easy evaluation of targets detected by both
ground-based radar and video analytics.

These installations of RVS and AVPS are fully integrated
with Honeywell’s Digital Video Manager and Pro-Watch system which were already
installed at the airport.

The integration of ground-based radar, video analytics and
the Honeywell management system gives the security team at GeorgeBushIntercontinentalAirport a complete evaluation of its
security right out to the very edge of the site’s perimeter on a single GUI.
It’s a solution that answers the prayers of major airports everywhere where
vast perimeter distances challenge systems and patrol teams.

The Honeywell system compliments the airport’s Rangers
program, a badged surveillance team that patrols the airport’s 11,000 acre
perimeter on horseback, as well as the airport’s many other security mechanisms
that are already in place.

“The best way to achieve a secure airport of our magnitude
is not by simply reacting to incidents after the fact or by jumping on the
latest trend but by really taking a hands-on approach to understanding the
needs of our airports,” says deputy director of public surveillance for the
Houston Airport System, Mark Mancuso.

“This new technology provides the right kind of surveillance
system for us.”

“RVS is a software system originally developed by Honeywell
Aerospace and used to protect ports and to track missiles. It was adapted for
ground use and is used to monitor the airport’s perimeters. Meanwhile, AVPS
will monitor and analyse certain behaviours captured by video. It will be
deployed in areas where ground-based radar may be obstructed by buildings or
towers.”