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News

IP networked access control secures Heathrow Terminal 5

CEM Systems : 20 October, 2008  (Application Story)
Fibre network infrastructure at Heathrow Terminal 5 connects Advanced AC2000 security management system controlling over 1000 card readers to ensure access security
IP networked access control secures Heathrow Terminal 5
CEM Systems has announced that Heathrow Airport is using the CEM AC2000 integrated security management systems to secure and enhance operations of its flagship Terminal 5 (T5) building.

Since March 2008, T5 has been using two CEM access control solutions: one for the main airport operator, BAA and one for the T5 dedicated airline operator, British Airways (BA). Collectively, the security systems at T5 consist of over 1,000 CEM IP card readers and 70,000 ID cards. The overall BAA access system forms part of a main Building System Integration (BSI) that utilises T5's impressive high-bandwidth fibre-optic infrastructure.

Referred to as the 21st century gateway to Britain, T5 is the largest IP aviation implementation in the UK and is the new dedicated home for British Airways. The prestigious £4.3 billion building covers an impressive 260 hectares. To secure staff, retailers, immigration police, and a projected 30 million passengers each year, the T5 project required a proven, fully integrated IP security solution that would not only provide 24/7 critical security, but also aid in the efficient flow of passengers.

"CEM has been consulting with the T5 project team since 2004," said Andrew Fulton, Business Development Director for CEM Systems. "Since the state-of-the-art AC2000 systems have been in operation at the BAA and BA Heathrow sites for over 18 years, it was an ideal choice to extend the CEM AC2000 systems to secure the prestigious T5."

Over 1,000 CEM S600e IP card readers with advanced smart card technology were installed throughout T5 to secure access gates, air-bridges, check-in desks, and other protected access points. Equipped with advanced features, such as onboard Ethernet connectivity, an LCD, a keypad, and internal database for offline card validation, S600e readers provide T5 with high levels of system stability and resilience.

"The existing CEM AC2000 system at Heathrow was smoothly expanded to provide an access control solution at T5. On opening day, we only received six queries because of incomplete access permissions out of 43,000 cardholders. That is a successful opening day", said George Hope, Security Controller of British Airways. "The upgrade simply involved the installation of a sub-server and S600e IP smart card readers at T5 with the main database still residing in the main building. The flexibility of the AC2000 software also allowed us to design access levels and time-zones so that ID cards issued at Heathrow would be valid at T5. Security time-zones were critical as most of the BA staff start work during non-standard hours."

CEM provided a future-proof, smart card solution that not only fulfilled BAA's CCTV integration requirements but also met unique customisation requests. Additional development involved the design of T5-specific reader 'door modes' to allow BAA to automatically segregate international/domestic and arriving/departing passengers.

With the T5 BAA and BA access control systems working in harmony, CEM has provided T5 with a future-proof security solution that can be easily upgraded and customised as T5 project requirements continue to grow.

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