Westchester Airport Gets New High-Tech Security System

eHezi Archives 2 Comments

WHITE PLAINS, NY– Taking the lead nationwide when it comes to
security measures,
Westchester County Airport has upgraded its perimeter with a new $5
million “virtual” system that uses leading-edge surveillance to identify and
eliminate any potential threats.


The new
security system acts like a virtual fence, detecting and identifying
unauthorized or unusual activity and providing security personnel and law
enforcement officers the time to intervene before anything happens. In the
works for more than two years, the system complements a host of other security
measures by Airport personnel and tenants, county police, the Transportation
Security Administration, and supporting technology.   
Westchester County is way ahead of the rest of the
nation when it comes to implementing  the latest in airport security,” said
County Executive Andy Spano. “This ‘smart’ software-based technology is top
notch and light years ahead of traditional airport fencing and video
surveillance.  Relatively new technology, it is cutting edge to apply it
into an airport environment.  The Port Authority is considering such a
system at LaGuardia and JFK airports but we are the first to actually put it in

As one of the three
busiest corporate airports in the U.S., the Westchester County Airport already
employs innovative security measures such as personnel badging systems to
control access to more secured areas and the ‘booting’ of planes to prevent
theft. Other measures include an eight-foot fence along the perimeter of the
703 acres, state-of-the-art baggage screening operations, camera monitoring in
the terminal and on other airport property, and a 24-hour police presence
coupled with random police K-9 and Special Unit patrolling, and joint Airport
operations and police officer patrols.

“We take our security
operations role very seriously and will continue to push for the most advanced
options available,” said Thomas Belfiore, commissioner of Public Safety. “The
safety and security of all our travelers is crucial, and upgrading perimeter
security simply adds one more layer to a system that already exceeds national

The airport’s new
security system, based on VistaScape Security Systems’ Security Data Management
System (SDMS) software, combines various types of surveillance cameras with
real-time security analysis software.  Designed to work day and night,
this system also has the capability to monitor activity during reduced
visibility environments.

The need for a more advanced security system was sparked by federal guidelines
put forth by the Transportation Security Administration that required the
prevention of unauthorized perimeter access, detection, and an affiliated
response.  In 2004, the county began developing plans for a new system
that would monitor the entire perimeter.  Several options were considered
such as TSA-recommended clear cutting of 20’ on either side of the existing
fence, additional fencing and a buried cable detection system, but it was decided
that a virtual perimeter was the most effective and least expensive option.


This virtual perimeter
system differs from most other security systems in that it allows one security
coordinator to view all of the monitoring devices and all security-related
activity on a single screen. The system detects, tracks, and classifies
objects, and plots their activity on that one monitor.

When the security
coordinator monitoring the general situation identifies any unusual activity,
he is able to immediately notify the police. Like most security systems, the
information is all recorded so it can be used in a criminal investigation if
necessary.  So far, fortunately, only one coyote has breached the
perimeter (and no arrest was made). 

No Westchester County tax dollars were used for this $5
million project by the departments of Transportation, Public Safety, Public
Works and Information Technology. Rather the funding comes from the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA), New York State Department of Transportation, and
the Airport’s special revenue that is generated through normal airport

eHeziWestchester Airport Gets New High-Tech Security System

Comments 2

  1. I’ve being reading your blog and found your post very helpful 🙂 . I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog!

  2. nothing like bragging about it to tempt a terrorist to defy the system…it’s the mindless spano
    administration patting itself on the back once again

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