Air Canada’s Station Operation Centre at Toronto’s Pearson Airport has implemented a virtual matrix system to simplify surveillance while increasing efficiency.

Technological convergence is becoming an essential component of mainstream airport security, and airports are actively seeking solutions that will integrate legacy analog systems with emerging digital technologies. Research done by Frost & Sullivan has found that the world airport perimeter security markets are projected to earn revenues of $3.80 billion in 2006, and is estimated to reach $7.59 billion by 2011. Air Canada’s Station Operation Centre (STOC) at Toronto’s Pearson Airport has put its budget to good use when it received a successful upgrade of its virtual matrix system (VMS).

VMS is a comprehensive management application for live and recorded video control and monitoring. The system integrates analog systems with IP technology and uses open platforms to connect with cameras, video recorders, encoders and other equipment from multiple manufacturers. Visual Defence delivered this project along with Bell Security Systems Inc. Their goal: to move Air Canada’s STOC facility from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 and upgrade the STOC video services to increase operational efficiencies.

“We are very pleased that we are able to begin using the new STOC facility as scheduled,” said Thor Hoff, manager, IT infrastructure projects, Air Canada YYZ Hub Development. “The new STOC video system, with its increased functionality, enhances Air Canada’s ability to manage and monitor operational video from multiple sources around the airport. Improvements to the system…allow for significant improved efficiencies by eliminating the need for operators to cross-reference video feeds with facility maps.”

Air Canada is a tenant of Pearson Airport, which is run by the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA). Air Canada’s VMS is part of a larger VMS that controls security video surveillance for the entire airport. The multi-tenant capabilities of the system provide significant cost-savings for all GTAA tenants by allowing tenants to share operational cameras that monitor common areas.