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British Airways upgrades to latest CEM software release

New AC2000SE® Version 5 software and smart cards for BA  

British Airways has completed a major software and hardware upgrade to the existing CEM AC2000 access control system installed at British Airways buildings throughout London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports.  The focal point of the upgrade is the new customised Version 5 software for AC2000 and the introduction of smart card technology. 

Flying to more than 550 destinations worldwide, British Airways is the UK's largest international scheduled airline.  The airline has been using the CEM AC2000 system to control and monitor access at its facilities for over 15 years.  Today's system has more than 750 CEM card readers and 50,000 active cardholders.

The upgrade entailed the deployment of the latest AC2000 V5 software and included extensive software development customising key applications to meet British Airways requirements.  Twenty-six new AC2000 workstations were supplied with special applications, including Visual Imaging and Pass Production System (VIPPS) and Alarm Event Display (AED) software modules installed.  As part of the upgrade, BA also facilitated the planned migration to smart cards by issuing dual technology Wiegand and Picopass smart cards.

"There are many different facets to the upgrade; however obtaining the latest AC2000 v5 software and moving to the new generation of smart cards were the key drivers," commented George Hope, Security Controller at British Airways.  "The flexibility of the AC2000 system allowed us to further tailor the system according to our changing needs and facilitate the smooth move to smart cards - ensuring the latest technological advances to enhance the security and efficiency of our day-to-day operations"

The Version 5 platform of the flagship CEM AC2000 represents the new generation of software with a variety of new features and developments.  The existing Card Parking facility, that automatically puts cards on hold that have been inactive for a pre-defined time has been enhanced with new integrated Park History and UnPark options.  Front-end user screens have a contemporary new look and feel with drop down menus for simple navigation as well as increased aesthetic qualities, whilst applications now run under Windows XP.

British Airways security directives required extensive software development in the programming of smart cards, including managing the card structure and securing the cards with unique encrypted keys that can be used for applications in addition to access control, such as cashless vending and air miles.  Key AC2000 applications were specifically developed for British Airways to enhance security and system functionality with many user fields added to help British Airways record additional data on the cardholder.  AC2000 VIPPS provides a range of video imaging tools that allow British Airways to customise and print professional ID passes for staff, contractors and tenants including data such as personal images and British Airways company logo signature.

British Airways will use the AED application for monitoring and reporting on the security status of all British Airways areas at Heathrow and Gatwick airports including engineering, cargo and crew/operations facilities.  AED provides real time graphical, audio and text-based information of all events and alarms that occur on the AC2000 system in detailed graphical maps and text view.

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