Airports are the proving ground for new technology in an effort to better view and screen passengers and employees through high resolution digital video and more detailed images thanks to new personal scanning technology.

Even for digital video security, it’s location, location, location.

And there’s no more sensitive location than Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, which even today has special security rules after it was reopened following the tragedy of September 11th.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) selected a digital video surveillance solution (NiceVision) as part of a security video core systems upgrade for the Reagan Airport.

Long-time airport systems integrator Gunvir Baveja of eVigilant said, “As an integrator for a project of this scope, we have to provide high levels of security without interrupting or slowing passenger flow.”

The airport’s planned security system enhancement involves the decommissioning and removal of an existing video server and recording system currently maintained in the airport operations computer room.


The old system is currently being replaced with new high-resolution digital video recorders capable of sustaining numerous cameras and providing the infrastructure and integration potential to support video content applications for real-time threat detection and analysis. The open architecture platform provides a safe and easy-to-manage operating environment, which easily integrates with any supplementary security and communication systems.

MWAA operates a two-airport system that provides domestic and international air service for the mid-Atlantic region. The organization consists of more than 1,300 employees in a structure that includes central administration, airports management and operations, and police and fire departments. In addition to overseeing operations for Reagan National and Washington Dulles International, the Airports Authority is responsible for capital improvements at both airports.

Implementation of high-resolution DVRs is just one indication that the nation’s largest airports are a proving ground for new and emerging security technology.

Another example, in late February the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rolled out backscatter personal scanning at the Phoenix airport. The unique tech from American Science & Engineering shows the body’s contours in a very detailed way.

To tamp down criticism of the potential nature of backscatter, TSA officials adjusted the machine to blur out sensitive body parts while promising not to store the displayed images.

The system will replace pat-downs but only on a voluntary basis.

SIDEBAR: Reorganization Leads to Network Video

Lebanon High School is home to 1,250 students in Lebanon, Ore. Although the school is nestled in a semi-rural area, they experience the same problems that plague larger, inner city schools. The school reports high truancy and dropout rates, bullying, and petty theft, and students struggle to maintain average test scores. As a result of dangerous incidents the school established a behavior tracking and modification program with zero tolerance for dangerous behavior.

Last year the high school reorganized into four smaller learning academies, transforming Lebanon into a safer, more inviting learning environment. The four communities specialize in different academic areas, allowing students to choose an academy and remain with the same group of colleagues and teachers through graduation.


To complement the reorganization plan and ensure school safety, Lebanon implemented an off-the-shelf, scalable surveillance camera system from Axis Communications for the entire district. The network installation consists of 35 cameras, expandable to 48 cameras. The cameras are located in eight district school buildings, with 25 of them serving Lebanon High School. Most of the 25 cameras are located in hallways, while a few cover outdoor areas of the campus.

Lebanon partnered with CDW-G to install a cost-effective system to help modify the school culture and break the cycle of crime. The solution also allows administrators to capture and save video surveillance or e-mail it to investigating authorities immediately.