Industry News

Perimeter Intrusion Detection Systems for Airports

Defining and specifying the needs

On 21st April 2014, a 15-year-old boy climbed over the perimeter fence of the international airport at San Jose, California under the cover of darkness, penetrated the airside and hid in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767, which took off at 07:45 AM to Hawaii. The ease with which this teenager managed to penetrate a secured area of the airport highlighted the security challenge faced by airports in the USA and around the world.

Airport perimeter fences extend for many miles; their main goal is to prevent unauthorised individuals from accessing the airside. They also create deterrence, and in some cases, help detect the trespassers. However, airports’ immense size, complexity, the nature of their operation and their strict security requirements present major challenges to manufacturers of perimeter security systems. Gilad Rafaeli and Eran Cherpak assess the different types of perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDS), their advantages and their effective use in airports.

A Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) is the generic name for electronic perimeter security systems, including vibration detection, optic fibres, seismic detectors, volumetric systems, transmitter-receiver technologies, video analytics, scanning observation systems, radar systems and more.

In addition to physical means, such as wire mesh fences and walls, in this article we will rely on a commonly accepted classification into the following four categories of PIDS solutions:


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