Improving Security in Airports with Key Control

Airport Security Management

Security operation management in airports typically requires the involvement of the various state, federal, and local government agencies. It also includes supervision of all aspects of security, such as perimeter fencing, issuing of uniforms, and security background checks for employees. Based on the type and size of the facility, airport security solutions may vary, but the use of key control systems is among the most popular and efficient methods.

Enhancing access control for a lot of airports means introducing a key control system that ensures all keys are registered and secured properly, especially those used in the vulnerable areas of the facility. Electronic key management systems allow limited access to keys when implemented throughout the whole airport complex. They also have useful forensic features that include automatic monitoring, notification and reporting capabilities. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of implementing a key control system in an airport environment.

How Key Management Enhances Airport Security

Electronic Key Cabinet SystemBy restricting unauthorized access of keys and minimizing the occurrence of these keys being misplaced or lost, electronic key monitoring systems provide an airport with an improved level of protection. Tamperproof key cabinets are being used to store keys to sterile and vulnerable areas of the airport that are prohibited from the public, such as flight ramps and operational spaces which are classified as a SIDA (Security Identification Display Area). Upon swiping their badges and supplying their PIN codes, registered users will be authorized to access pre-programmed keys and enter these prohibited areas.  The electronic key cabinet will not open, and specific keys cannot be retrieved or restored unless the requirements entered match the data stored in the database of the system.

Key management systems further enhance the security and reliability of operations at the airport as all key access activities such as the user, date and the time of key retrieval or return are automatically registered. Airport security managers are kept updated through routine reports on which keys were returned or retrieved and the users who used them. The managers may request automated reports by user code, date, and time in order to track key activities.

Administrators may also ask the system for specific information if an incident happens, which can be done throughout the duration of the follow-up investigation. Specific keys that are in use, stored key locations, overdue or missing keys, and any irregular key usage activities can also be tracked through real-time audit reports.

Additional safety features may also be integrated into key control systems to help improve security and preserve system integrity. For instance, a numerical code may show on the monitor if an authorized user tries to access a key. This code should be entered at secured doors while using the key. For some specified situations, such as a power failure, incorrect user codes, or using force to obtain access to keys, alarms may be activated as an additional security measure. Multiple users may also be required by the system to log in first before providing access to specific keys, which means that the keys will not be released unless all the authorized users are present.

It is also possible to add locking devices to the keys, like for example a tamperproof keyring in order to keep users from exchanging the original key with another. These tamperproof keyrings can also be color-coded to help managers organize the keys to sterile or vulnerable areas in the airport. With this color-coding scheme, there is no longer a need to label each key according to their function. When a key is misplaced, this missing key is not only flagged by the system but also prevents any possible identity problems.

Improved Quality and Ease of Operations through Automated and Networked Systems

Advanced key access control systems nowadays are built with a collaborative architecture framework that allows network connectivity to other supported systems by other providers for various layers of control and protection.

Maximizing a facility's key access control and management via system integration yields incredible benefits when it comes to enhancing the security and efficiency of the system. This can be done without implementing any expensive improvement or overhaul to the current physical protection system. For instance, in order to add an additional layer of security, asset protection systems that incorporate relay inputs or outputs and alarms can be combined with the already existing video monitoring systems. USB and Ethernet features can help guarantee the integration and compatibility of the system. In addition, the systems can also work with the current identification cards at the airport.

Access control integration enables system managers to monitor the key users' field of operation inside the facility. An authorized staff of the airport who has removed a particular highly valued key may be prohibited from exiting through an access-controlled door before returning the key. The conditions may be extended to keys, key groups, users, reservations and time limits. In case of highly sensitive keys not being returned on time, specific managers can be notified by email.

The compatibility of a key control system with other safety systems and its connectivity to the network gives it increased usability and value. By utilizing a standard front-end database to coordinate codes, integrating with existing databases can help save money and time. Operations like adding or removing users are simpler, and more effective management control is provided. It would be very easy to add or remove non-permanent airport personnel and automatically allocate data to all the key cabinets inside the system.

Airport security administrators nowadays choose to use mobile applications when trying to access key control information and doing their transactions, leading to enhanced airport integrity and security. Modern communication features allow remote monitoring and administration of key monitoring systems from devices such as mobile phones and PDAs (Personal digital assistants). Key control system applications allow users to retain key control irrespective of where they are located.

For real-time management and monitoring, alerts and activities are sent to approved airport staff automatically, giving them full system control. They are capable of cancelling alarms or deactivate user permissions remotely if needed. When it comes to key access control in an airport setting, these functions offer smartphone users a higher degree of control and convenience.

Using key control systems in airports is an essential step to ensure that the passengers, airport employees, and properties are safe and protected. The accurate and updated information generated by the system can be easily obtained, enabling airport staff to advance with defined protocols concerning security and control of access in the facility.

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