|Kantech access control, American Dynamics video, and DSC intrusion detection systems were used to enhance safety
Newfoundland & Labrador based commercial service provider Cougar Helicopters doesn't take safety and security lightly. Operating a helicopter service in the midst of some of the world's most challenging weather has developed several strengths in Cougar Helicopters. Proactive safety, flexibility and innovation have become watchwords for Cougar's highly experienced team of flight crew, aircraft maintenance engineers, rescue specialists and support staff. These strengths have come into play in support of Canada's first offshore oil production and in pioneering new methods and equipment for marine search and rescue (SAR).
Cougar's notable construction projects include a corporate headquarters with a 37,000 square-foot passenger handling facility and hangar at St. John's International Airport, a 28,000 square-foot heliport in Halifax for oil and gas operations, and a 27,000 square-foot built-for-purpose Search & Rescue (SAR) facility also located at St. John's.
Beyond ensuring in-flight safety, Cougar needed to ensure security for its new facility in Halifax and its SAR facility in St. John's while ensuring complete network capability with its headquarters. Cougar's facilities also needed to follow Transport Canada Aviation Regulations, which details security requirements for airports frequented by the general public.
As Cougar embarked on building its new terminal in Halifax, company officials knew they had to take a topnotch approach with their security. The facility would house a helicopter hangar and a passenger screening and boarding area within a single structure, as well as a pilot lounge and an office for Cougar Helicopters' employees.
Paramount to the newly constructed terminal in Halifax and the SAR facility in St. John's was the requirement to network the location with the corporate headquarters' Operational Control Center (OCC), which dispatches and follows all of Cougar's aircraft throughout the world and provides oversight for all of its security operations.
Cougar Helicopters relied on the expertise of systems integrator Northeastern Protection Service Inc., in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and started working with the integrator during the blueprint stage of the project.
"Starting from scratch gave us the flexibility to efficiently implement the different security systems we needed," said Richard Dawe, Information Systems Manager for Cougar Helicopters. "The design of the system wasn't inhibited by drywall being up or ceilings being intact. And, we weren't tearing out walls and moving doors."
Roger Miller, Vice President of Operations for Northeastern Protection, and Bryan Robinson, Technical Services Manager, for Northeastern Protection, worked closely with Cougar Helicopters to design and install the security system at both its new Halifax location and the SAR building.
“Integration was critical to this project," said Miller. "Cougar Helicopters wanted to manage their access control, surveillance and security system through a single interface."
To accomplish a truly integrated, network-based system, Cougar Helicopters' IT department and Northeastern Protection had to implement an independent and parallel LAN network for both Halifax and the SAR building in St. John's to eliminate concerns of bandwidth issues and to identify IP addresses for its IP surveillance cameras.
With several solutions from Tyco Security Products, including Kantech access control, American Dynamics video, and DSC intrusion, Cougar Helicopters now manages their access control, surveillance and intrusion system through a single interface.
To take an integrated approach, Cougar Helicopters selected several solutions from Tyco Security Products, with the Kantech EntraPass Corporate Edition software as its security management platform. The network and web-ready security management system fully integrates with the other security systems installed in the Cougar Helicopters' terminal, including an HDVR Hybrid Video Recorder from American Dynamics and a DSC PowerSeries Alarm Panel for the intrusion system.
The capabilities of EntraPass allow Cougar Helicopters to integrate its access control data with both its video and intrusion systems. As a result, EntraPass can search events that have been generated by the DSC PowerSeries system, allowing the IT department in St. John's to gather this data from one workstation instead of multiple sources. The speed, accuracy and ease of use create a very efficient investigation process.
In addition, Kantech EntraPass, coupled with KT400 door controllers, manages access for controlled entry points. Cougar Helicopters recently added a new functionality to its system to provide enhanced safety measures for employees. As an employee enters a designated area in either the Halifax building or SAR facility, the EntraPass system is programmed to begin a countdown process, so if an employee does not exit within a specified time frame the system generates an alarm to create a response process.
The surveillance system took a hybrid approach, with 16 analogue ports and 8 IP ports on the HDVR. The Kantech EntraPass Corporate Edition software is providing the interface with both the video and access control system. This approach enables the facility to add more analogue or IP megapixel cameras as needed
For Cougar Helicopters, an integrated and networked surveillance system goes beyond security to enable it to manage day-to-day business activities. The remote monitoring video system allows management to monitor the hangar from anywhere in the world, and the video screens in the pilot's lounge enable pilots to see when their helicopters are ready for flight.
The advantages of remote access are not limited to the video portions of the system. Having the ability to control and manage doors from a central location through the Kantech EntraPass system also provides Cougar with operational advantages.
"We can lock down the building, we can open up doors and manage it remotely," Dawe explained. "We always have someone who can take control because we have an IT team in St. John's to manage our facilities."
At the newly built SAR facility in St. John's, Cougar incorporated the Kantech integration platform installed in Halifax. Following the standard developed for Halifax the SAR facility became an added site on Kantech EntraPass, which allows it to be managed from the same IT infrastructure.
With its operations continuing to grow, Cougar Helicopters can now update its security company-wide thanks to the work of Northeastern Protection and the Kantech EntraPass platform. The foundation provided by the system in Halifax can also carry Cougar Helicopters through any future construction projects.