Navtech Radar focuses attentions on PIDS for airport projects

Navtech Radar has installed Perimeter Intrusion Detection Systems (PIDS) at 16 major European airports in a bid to address client requirements in relation to security breaches which can result in considerable operational losses at such locations.

Navtech Radar is now one of the world’s leading suppliers of radar-based Perimeter Intrusion Detection Systems (PIDS) for airports. Having installed 16 AdvanceGuard system solutions, and with a considerable number of airport-based projects currently undergoing installation, Navtech Radar is delivering PIDS compliant with the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Security Manual 8973.

Preventative security measures are crucial for passenger safety and confidence, as stipulated by the ICAO and EU 300/2008 and 2320/2002 regulations.

Speaking about this issue, Navtech Radar’s business development manager Jason Burger explained: “The uninterrupted running of airport operations is imperative, as unlawful interference culminating in a security breach can result in huge operational losses due to the time taken for evacuation procedures or the temporary closure of an airport.”

Multi-radar surveillance at an airport

Multi-radar surveillance at an airport

Large area to secure

Typically, commercial airports harbour extremely large perimeter areas, with many of them in excess of 15 km. Those perimeter zones can be both expensive and difficult to secure, most notably in adverse weather conditions.

Burger continued: “Navtech Radar’s frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) 76 GHz technology is ideally suited to this challenge. The robust design of the radars, coupled with their ability to operate on a 24/7 basis in all types of light and weather conditions, and even in dense fog, renders the AdvanceGuard solution a preferred technology for the challenges faced by airport operators and their security teams.”

With low installation and ongoing maintenance costs, end users will be keen to learn that the overall cost of ownership associated with AdvanceGuard is very competitive when compared with traditional fence detection systems.

Navtech’s radar surveillance technology can deliver further cost savings by re-addressing the balance between technology and physical security guarding solutions. With 360° radius detection offering a range of up to 1,000 metres of manned detection, Navtech’s radar systems are described as “the perfect solution” for perimeter and critical security restricted area surveillance.

Burger added: “Multiple overlapping radar sensors may be networked to offer site-wide security coverage for the end user which is controlled and monitored via a single PC running Navtech Radar’s sophisticated Physical Security Information Management software.” The latter is named Witness.

Jason Burger: business development manager at Navtech Radar

Jason Burger: business development manager at Navtech Radar

Reference sites: AdvanceGuard in action

To date, AdvanceGuard reference sites include Ostrava in the Czech Republic, Valencia (Spain) and Bristol Airport in the UK.

An additional benefit of the Navtech Radar AdvanceGuard solutuion is that it has the potential to be used as a surface movement system, meaning that the radars would serve a dual purpose for the end user customer.

Fernando Garcia Rodrigues (project manager for equipment and facilities in the Operations, Security and Services Directorate at Valencia Airport) explained: “We had a number of key issues we wanted to address by way of a new wide area surveillance solution. We needed to detect intrusions to the airport area, follow any intruders once they were inside the airport and avoid expensive civil works. We had to cover a huge area but had no tube bank or any other canalisation available for cabling. We also wanted to minimise communication and power costs.”

In addition, there was a desire to have the same alarm rate and response in any weather or light conditions and, at the same time, present a friendly and easy-to-use system for the operators.

“Now,” continued Rodrigues, “we have a solution in place with a very low false alarm rate. We can distinguish between ‘friend’ and ‘intruder’ and, in terms of the latter, follow them on site. This makes it much easier and faster to direct the intercepting security patrols.”

End user experiences at Bristol Airport and Ostrava Airport

Chris Ware, head of security at Bristol Airport, has also spoken of the AdvanceGuard solution.

“We selected AdvanceGuard based on all of its all-weather capabilities and operational experience at other airports,” outlined Ware. “A further major factor is that the solution demonstrates the lowest false alarm rate.”

Ware added: “We tend to experience a good deal of fog in Bristol. It was critical that the new solution could cope with that, as well as any heavy rain and snow. The AdvanceGuard solution also gives us superior track and trace capability in comparison to other types of technology solutions. To date, the system has met all of our expectations.”

PIDS in action

PIDS in action

Bristol Airport’s head of security also said: “I would like to highlight the fact that the system benefits also include an automatic tracking capability and rule-and zone setting flexibility within the Witness2 software suite. The system’s alarm log and operator acknowledgement features provide an audit trail for both employer and employee. This is vital, as members of staff can be seen to have followed procedures because there’s now a security system in place that documents they’ve done so.”

Petr Voráč, head of security for Ostrava Airport, explained: “In comparison with other radar systems which use just one long range radar unit, the Navtech Radar solution was better because the airfield has a non-uniform shape. One large unit would have given us problems with ‘dead zones’ where there would have been no detection due to ground slopes and non-linear fence lines.”

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