Faro Airport part of testing program for state-of-the-art security system
26 June 2013
Faro Airport in Portugal is one of three European airports that have been chosen to test-run a state-of-the-art security system designed to integrate and monitor all components of airport security, maximizing the ability to respond to a possible threat in real-time. Costing EUR 14 million, the project has the EU’s backing with financing of EUR 9 million. Described as a “multi-level, multi-intelligence and surveillance system” aimed at creating “a comprehensive airport security solution”, TASS (Total Airport Security System) provides real-time situational awareness of all airport facilities and its surroundings. “This project comes from the concept that nowadays airport security is increasingly costly for EU State members and airports have become prime targets for situations of attack, and therefore given the growing threat airport security is a concern”, explained Isabel Oliveira, Portuguese airport management company ANA’s head of Investment, Development and Special Technology Projects. TASS brings together eight major segments of airport security control including people, facilities, airplanes, baggage, cargo, vehicles, environment and cyberspace and fuses them together to find correlations and anomalies when a threat emerges. It then allows for up-to-date information to be shared among airport security authorities, who will be able to assess and determine the best ways to neutralize the threat. To test the system’s effectiveness three European airports of contrasting dimensions were chosen to host test-runs. A first test-run was carried out at London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5, during the 2012 Olympic Games. Portugal’s Faro Airport followed on 29 May 2013, chosen for being a small, private airport, with a lot of tourists and seasonal movement. A third test-run will be carried out in Athens Airport, in Greece. “We are trying to show that in these three airports with different technological solutions and different procedures there are clear advantages to fusing information,” Oliveira said.