Just about everyone is familiar with Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras. They’ve been used for decades just about anywhere including public facilities like airports where surveillance cameras are as ubiquitous as airplanes. Like the livery on planes, things have changed over the years. Perhaps nowhere has change been more profound as in technology where time can be defined as the analog era versus the digital world.
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is engaged in a project to upgrade its video surveillance system, replacing the conventional CCTV system with an enhanced digital IP (Internet Protocol) one. The work is being done in phases at an estimated cost of $100 million.
The Video Surveillance System Upgrades program is planned to be implemented in phases installing approximately 4,000 cameras to increase coverage to meet security and operational requirements.
“The industry is evolving quickly to IP systems to enhance integration with state-of-the-art digital systems and new, emerging applications like access control and security,” said Deputy Director of Aviation, Capital Development Api Appulingam, whose unit is overseeing the project. “While the CCTV systems were cutting edge and state-of-the-art when installed, and have served the airport well, the rapid pace of change in technology and security requirements over the past decade has outstripped the equipment’s capabilities. Migrating PHL’s CCTV system and supporting infrastructure to an IP architecture will better reflect today’s modern transportation facility footprint.”
According to Project Manager Kalpesh Trivedi, the program encompasses:
- Upgrading Video Surveillance System and supporting infrastructure to an IP architecture for better reflection of today's modern transportation facility footprint at PHL
- Upgrading the existing system to 100 percent IP while significantly increasing CCTV viewing coverage to meet security and operational requirements
- Establishing comprehensive coverage including “green-field” areas around the airport perimeter and on terminal roadways
- Upgrading the Video Management System (VMS) to allow for more efficient management and resource allocation
The upgrade program plans to replace the current Video Management System, its associated network infrastructure, upgrading/replacing existing CCTV cameras, and providing CCTV coverage to the entire airport campus. In addition, the program includes demolishing the existing system and related portions of the infrastructure once the new system is installed, fully tested and accepted. While the Video Surveillance Upgrade Program is a huge undertaking, the project team continuously works with partners and is dedicated to deliver the project successfully.