Securing Long Beach

Long Beach launches the first fully digital video surveillance and access control system in the country.


All of the parking areas at Long Beach will have cameras deployed and emergency phones available. The phones will allow a customer to be in direct contact with the airport’s dispatch center for assistance in emergency and non-emergency situations. Additionally, if an AED door is opened for use, the security control center is immediately notified that it is being taken out, “so we can look at it live and send help to that area without even them having to pick up the phone to dial 911,” Sansenbach explains.

Sansenbach says the system will greatly enhance the ability of the operator or dispatcher in the security operations control tower. “They won’t be running around the room to silence certain alarms,” he says. “It will streamline everything.”

Some 100 cameras are being deployed around the airport, with about 5 percent of those being wireless, which Sansenbach says was a tremendous benefit. “We don’t have to trench across runways and taxiways. It’s going to be fed to us via wireless technology. Had we not been able to do that, we might not have been able to put some of the cameras in certain locations.”

Not only would some locations be impossible physically, but the cost to wire cameras out some distances would have been cost-prohibitive.

Long Beach Airport has tunnels, with heavy traffic, that run underneath some of the runways. The cameras also allow the security team to monitor these tunnels for stopped or slow-moving vehicles, or unapproved access. According to ARINC’s Koren, video analytics are being used for viewing the tunnels.

Project Goes Outside the Fence
The City of Long Beach recently opened an emergency communications and operations center (ECOC) where the airport will add a work station. Explains Sansenbach, “Any major incident or emergency in the city is managed from that facility. So [the ECOC] will have a work station as part of the airport’s new system that will allow the city officials that want to see or need to see what’s going on at the airport a real-time look...”

Sansenbach advises other airports that are looking at enhancing their security to take the time to look at all the available technology. “There’s a lot out there, and it seems post-9/11 everybody’s willing to sell everything and anything and a lot of claims are made. Just be careful and take a close look at what you’re asking for and make sure it’s what you’re getting.”

Currently, biometrics is not included in the security system’s deployment, but Sansenbach says it is flexible enough to incorporate the technology in the future, if needed.

“We’re excited about it coming online,” says Sansenbach. “It’s going to be a definite enhancement to the security of the Long Beach Airport, without question. And in this day and age, you can’t have enough security.”

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