Brian Sims

Genetec systems underpin security regime at London Heathrow

GENETEC – THE technology provider of unified security, public safety and business intelligence solutions – has realised highly successful protection systems for London Heathrow Airport in the wake of a multi-year investment by the client that’s enabling continuous innovation.

In fact, the joint effort provides Heathrow with a unified view across large-scale airport operations that’s securing people and assets, bringing efficiency to the fore and enhancing the passenger experience, while in parallel ensuring data privacy and cyber security compliance.

London Heathrow is Europe’s busiest airport, handling circa 80 million passengers and 14 million tonnes of goods each year. Over 76,000 employees work around the clock to ensure the airport’s smooth operations across its 1,227-hectare site, including maintaining passenger flows, securing the premises and managing over 1,300 daily take-offs and landings on behalf of no fewer than 89 different airlines.

Heathrow initially deployed Genetec’s Security Center to bring all of its IP security systems into line on one unified platform. What began as a 2,000-camera deployment in 2016 has since more than quadrupled in size, incorporating everything from video and access control through to LIDAR, analytics, number plate recognition and more.

Today, Genetec’s solutions are used to go far beyond security. For example, they’re deployed to monitor over 150 km of baggage belts and facilitate the daily entry and exit of over 150,000 vehicles.

Small city-scale operation

“We’re essentially running a small city-scale operation that happens to be called Heathrow,” explained Danny Long, IT product owner for physical security products at Heathrow. “Alongside the traditional airport security functions, we’re responsible for the monitoring of roads, retail space, three train stations, a bus terminal, offices, a church, fuel stores, a high voltage electrical network and all of the other associated infrastructure that maintains passenger flow.”

Genetec’s Security Center now supports 90 different stakeholder groups working across 110 distinct Control Rooms. All have different needs and access rights. Customised dashboards enable individual teams and third parties, such as members of the police service and representatives of Government agencies, airlines and retailers to focus on their specific tasks.

For example, some operational staff are given the tools to monitor passenger flow and are automatically notified when security queues grow too long. Meanwhile, colleagues in IT don’t see camera feeds. Instead, they have access to system health dashboards that notify them of devices that have fallen offline or otherwise require software/firmware updates.

Adding value

“The joy of working with London Heathrow is that the team is constantly striving to put our system through its paces and identify new areas where it can add value,” enthused Simon Barnes, director of business development at Genetec. “While our software is configured to their requirements at the time, once in the field, new requirements inevitably emerge and we then have to adjust to their reality.” 

Barnes added: “My job is to translate business requirements into workable solutions. Genetec delivers the valuable tools with which to achieve that aim. Our experiences with Genetec have been very positive. We’re now looking to expand in terms of the size and usage of the system.”


Company Info

Genetec UK Ltd

90 Basinghall Street

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