Carl Newman, assistant aviation director, at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, is responsible for security as well as overall operations. He has improved security in the parking facilities, among other projects.

When you think of airport security, you may first think about bomb and metal detection and inside-the-terminal crime prevention. But there is also another big challenge – parking lot and garage security.

In Phoenix, at Sky Harbor International Airport, Carl Newman, assistant aviation director, covers it all.

“In my 28 years at Sky Harbor, I have seen and experienced tremendous change and growth in the aviation industry. I am responsible for operations, including airport security, as well as general aviation (Phoenix Goodyear and Phoenix Deer Valley Airports).”

Assistance calls boxes at Sky Harbor Airport’s parking facilities include two buttons – one for customer assistance and another for security needs.


Newman has been involved in the development of numerous programs within the Phoenix Aviation Department including,
  • Incident Management System

  • Access Control System

  • International Concourse Operations

  • Airfield Driver Safety Curriculum/Training

  • Customer Service Initiatives

  • Comprehensive Terminal Inspection

  • Management training programs, Building Bench Strength and the Management Development Program.
A recent success, that is ongoing, is the application of emergency telephones in the parking areas. Visitors to Sky Harbor just push a button to summon help if they need security help, have lost their vehicle, have a flat tire, need a jump-start or lock their keys in their vehicle. The Code Blue call box units are equipped with lights on the top which make them easier for both visitors and attendants to locate. The units also offer a separate emergency button that connects the visitor to the airport emergency dispatcher. Any time a button is pressed, a two-way conversation is immediately initiated between the customer and the employee answering the call.

In another way to provide parking lot and garage security, the St. Louis Parking Company uses intelligent video technology that goes beyond security concerns.

St. Louis Parking Company is the oldest and largest parking company in that region, with more than 100 facilities capable of housing in excess of 40 thousand vehicles daily. In operating their parking facilities, St. Louis Parking cites their concerns as being the safety of customers, and protecting vehicles and staff from theft and vandals.  They also are always looking for new technology that can help with parking capacity tracking and employee monitoring.

For the St. Louis Parking Company, an intelligent video analysis system is programmed to detect and evaluate events occurring within one of its camera views.


At their new state-of-the-art downtown facility, the company decided to look toward a relatively new technology that is rapidly expanding in the marketplace. Intelligent video uses a proprietary algorithm to identify abnormalities within a digital image such as movement within a controlled space. This allows the system to count and recognize objects, people and situations and will alert security personnel to take action and pre-empt potential situations.

The system can be customized and integrated into many security applications.  The intelligent analysis of the system is programmed to detect and evaluate a specific security event occurring within one of its camera views, which immediately triggers a visible and audible signal. A security officer receives this alert from his or her computer screen or mobile device as an e-mail or SMS message, physically validates the threat by acknowledging the alert and takes the appropriate countermeasures.

The Arteco Vision Systems’ Intelligent Video Solution (IVS) was chosen for the job.  The IVS system is made of a combination of hardware and software products that work together to create an unparalleled proactive security solution for any size business or organization. 

It created violated area applications that detect entry in restricted areas in real-time.  It also created direction detection alerts when vehicles go incorrectly through one-way paths.  Loitering persons in parking facility are detected and alerted to security. Each vehicle that enters or leaves facility is recorded as a “time-stamp.”

In Phoenix, Newman also employs security video as well as myriad other security technologies, people, procedures and policies.

“As one of the busiest airports in the United States, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport served more than 42 million passengers in 2007.  We are committed to providing the highest degree of safety and security to our airlines and the traveling public.  In fact, Sky Harbor consistently exceeds the level of security mandated by the Transportation Security Administration,” said Newman.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Sky Harbor conducted a comprehensive vulnerability assessment, and from that assessment completed a security master plan.  The master plan includes several projects visible to the traveling public.


In another vehicle security measure, when entering Sky Harbor International Airport, the public sees a two-foot concrete jersey barrier-style base with a seven-foot wrought-iron fence. “This aesthetically pleasing, yet extremely strong perimeter fence solution will withstand the impact a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.  At our vehicle access gates that lead to the restricted areas of the airport, we have installed hydraulic wedge barrier devices,” Newman added.

“At remote parts of the perimeter, we used a less expensive, but just as formidable fence solution.  Similar to the system installed in the median of freeways, our system consists of four cables that are installed on the airside of the chain link fence line. The curb fronts at our three terminals are also being strengthened with a bollard system.  These bollards are designed to withstand a vehicle incursion into our terminals similar to what occurred last year at Glasgow International Airport in the United Kingdom.  When completed, our terminal fronts and perimeter fence line will be one of the more modern and aesthetically pleasing, yet a formable, deterrent against any type of vehicular breach.”

In all the airport facilities, including parking, Sky Harbor promotes a security program known as Secure Our Airport Responsibly. SOAR is an airport-wide program designed to create a safer environment by raising the awareness of airport personnel and the surrounding community. “It is essentially an airport ‘neighborhood watch’ program that offers rewards for helping to ensure the safety of our airport.

There is also a new emergency notification system that involved regional law enforcement, government and community players.

There’s a push to custom-designed guard booths at the entrances to parking lots and garages as enterprises both strengthen security and soften the look.

SIDEBAR: Other Drive Time Solutions

There are diverse high and low tech methods of securing parking lots and garages. They can range from modular buildings at vehicle entrances, certified emergency/intercom phones, thermal cameras, handheld explosives detection to perimeter protection systems.

For example, Par-Kut security booths are being placed in strategic locations at parking lots, structures and restricted areas both land side and air side of airports. The shelters offer perimeter security, access restriction and inspection capabilities. They can be used as a combination parking structure ticket booth and guard shelter. Options include bullet resistant protection up to level 3.

From B.I.G. Enterprises, a custom-made, pre-fabricated guard booth lowers the cost of on-site construction. “The Georgetown” guard booth reflects a response to custom designed solutions for budget-conscious customers who need to provide high-security while maintaining a distinguished appearance. Such multi-sided guard booths feature a lead coated copper standing seam roof as well as other amenities that transform a booth into what some want to match their corporate culture.

For emergency phones, there is a need to meet industry and national standards. For instance, Talk-A-Phone has CSA International certification of its line of Talk-A-Phone outdoor emergency phones and phone mounts to UL Standards. The certification marks insure the products’ safety and compliance with national service codes. CSA is a leading provider of product testing and certification to national and international standards.

Booths can combine security at vehicle entrances as well as revenue functions. This unit is from Par-Kut.

From Nedap, there is IP on the perimeter. All components required for the installation of a perimeter access system have been integrated into one housing, leaving little else to be done but mounting the unit and connecting the gate arm. This standalone solution does not require anything more than browser access to the reader. There is no software to install with the TRANSIT Edge. Using HID Edge technology, all control of access profiles and event logs are contained right at the reader level at each gate.

As the price falls, thermal cameras are playing a greater role in vehicle identification and airport security. For example, FLIR’s thermal security cameras have found a home in airports. An airport’s size is largely irrelevant to the kinds of security challenges they face. While a larger airport’s security infrastructure may be more complex, that is a difference of type, not of kind. Securing airports like Westchester County requires attention to the same basic considerations that exist at major international airports like Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) and New York’s Kennedy. FLIR’s thermal security cameras have been applied in numerous areas.

Then there is vehicle screening for explosives.

At the recent ISC West in Las Vegas, ICx Technologies showed Fido, which can be handheld or robot-mounted. It provides real-time visual and audio feedback to the security officer.