Minneapolis airport to spend $20m on new surveillance system

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Monday, May 14, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS—The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will spend $20 million to upgrade its aging surveillance system with high-definition digital cameras, according to a news report.

The airport's CCTV system, in place since 1995, currently includes roughly 1,900 analog cameras, according to a memo obtained by Security Director News. Airport officials conducted an analysis of its CCTV system in 2010 and decided to replace it all with a new digital system. The airport plans to begin installing 1,800 new digital cameras beginning next year, as first reported by the Star Tribune.

For the first phase, the airport sought an integrator to set up a lab and test the network, VMS, PSIM and cameras. Four integrators—Convergint Technologies LLC, Schneider Electric, Siemens Industry Inc., and Systems Development Integration—submitted a proposal. In late March, a review committee chose Chicago-based SDI as integrator for the first phase, which will cost $3.9 million, according to the memo. The airport will also consider incorporating video analytics and facial recognition technology, the newspaper reported.

Besides making the airport itself more secure, a spokesperson from Delta Air Lines told the Star Tribune that the new HD cameras will also help reduce flight delays because the higher-quality images will allow the airline to better manage problems at gates and on taxiways, and reduce the need to send crews to investigate. Delta will pay an undisclosed portion of the project's cost, according to the newspaper.

The installation of the new system will progress over the next three to four years. In addition to the Delta contribution, the airport hopes to obtain additional funding from the Transportation Security Administration, the newspaper reported.