DVRs have been installed in the Tallahassee Airport in Tallahassee, Fla.

Tallahassee Regional Airport may be small in size, but it’s big on security. The airport was honored with the “2005 Excellence in Airport Security” award from Air Safety Week, an aviation security publication. The award is granted to the airport with the highest rating for airport security advances, security effectiveness, security management, leadership, balancing of security programs and operations and maintaining public confidence in air travel.

Located in Florida’s capital city, the Tallahassee Regional Airport supports commercial airlines, corporate aviation, commuter and charter services, as well as a variety of private aviation activities. The airport recently installed surveillance cameras and digital video management systems along with an access control system, all to ensure a more efficient passenger security process. Also installed were card readers and control panels to restrict access to doors and gate access points throughout the facility. The fully integrated system keeps security personnel keenly aware of activities inside and around the perimeter of the facility.

Access control systems allow for security personnel to know who is in the facility. All of the security devices in the airport are centrally managed through the access control system.


A consulting firm and integrated systems company played a major role in the installation. Counter Technology, the consulting firm, advised the security team on the necessary specifications for a scalable system while Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. managed the installation and integration of new security equipment.

“The system truly works for us,” said David Pollard, superintendent of operations at Tallahassee Regional Airport. “It’s very user-friendly. Operators can easily acknowledge alarms, pull up cameras and investigate access histories, all at the click of a button.”

Installation managers were also on hand to help the airport relocate its operations center to better support its surveillance needs. The consulting firm and integrators played a key role in the project. Working in close collaboration with airport personnel, the integrator ensured a seamless transition for all monitors, video systems and other equipment.

“We wanted to partner with a company that could grow with us,” Pollard explained. “We laid out what we wanted and Counter Technology provided us with a great value. They were a steady hand through the whole process. Likewise, Siemens was very knowledgeable about resolving technical challenges and understanding our unique needs. It was a very positive experience.”

Airport personnel have color-coded badges that quickly indicate authorized cleared employees from unauthorized employees.

Well-regarded technology

The consulting company evaluated available options and recommended a fully integrated system to include more than 50 surveillance cameras and digital video management systems, plus card readers and a combination of control panels. All of the security devices are centrally managed through the access control system.

With the new security system in place, airport personnel have far greater and immediate awareness of situations occurring at the site. “We can link video and alarms so that when doors are held open it automatically pulls the camera up to that specific location so our system operators can view where an alarm has been activated or suspicious activity is occurring,” Pollard said. “All of this is captured on our Intellex system so we have a live view of what’s happening, as well as a recorded view should it be needed as evidence in a future criminal proceeding.”

The staff sees business value in the new card system. “With our previous system, we had to call support for help with the simplest changes,” said Pollard. “We wanted greater flexibility. With the new card system in place, we’ve even improved our badging. For example, we now color code all of our badges by clearance area, so that security officers doing spot checks can easily identify if someone was not authorized to be in a particular area.”

A long-term partnership

Pollard is now considering a transition to multi-technology readers so the airport will be poised to meet emerging federal requirements. “We’ll move easily to proximity readers, and be set up if we need to use smart card technology in the future” said Pollard.

“We’re no longer working in isolation. Security continually works on new programs, features and system upgrades based on input from other airports, and we’ll be able to take advantage of these upgrades.”