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The Nation’s Seaports and Airports throughput thousands of people and billions of dollars worth of materials every day. These ports comprise of massive plots of land located amongst densely populated communities. Seaports can see throughput of more than a thousand trucks on any given day, while airports need to accommodate often erratic traffic consisting of support vehicles, fire trucks and heavy equipment.

Securing these facilities requires a varied combination of crash rated barriers. At locations where restricting access of passersby is just as important as stopping unwanted vehicles, crash rated gates are the best option. Los Angeles International Airport has used a variety of Delta Crash rated gates to protect fuel depots, hangers and runways.

Access control devices

In-ground wedge barriers have found favour at port roadways, allowing security personnel to screen trucks entering and exiting the port. Delta Scientific has worked with more than one hundred port locations to design the barrier system that best meets the demands of the facility.

Airports across the nation are now taking measures to protect everyone, passengers and employees

Though every effort is made to ensure the safety of air travellers, what is being done to protect those that work within the airports? What about the security of the cargo delivered? What about perimeter security breaches – allowing possibly dangerous terrorists and criminals onto federal aviation property, thereby endangering everyone within? Airports across the nation are now taking measures to protect everyone, passengers and employees, by installing vehicle access control devices. These new airport security systems are designed to stop anyone from driving any type of vehicle.

Controlling vehicle access

Originally used primarily to stop the constant risk of thefts at car rental agencies, bollards, barriers, barricades and crash gates are now common throughout airports, especially after 9-11. Booths were traditionally used for housing guards who collected parking fees. They’re often ballistic rated. From protecting the tarmac to passenger areas, airports today are especially conscious of controlling vehicle access.

As a countermeasure to the increased theft of rental cars throughout the nation approximately 15 years ago, many rental car operators began using traffic controllers to disable unauthorised vehicles from entering or leaving their lots. Installation of these units all but eliminates drive or crash out thefts. Over 120 other car rental lots throughout the nation have installed some variety vehicle access control systems.

Motorised traffic controllers

The rounded corners and custom painted design complement their two 9-level parking structures

The motorised traffic controllers (the ‘wrong-way’ teeth), warning signs and traffic and surface mounted controllers (i.e. gates) together prevent thefts of rental cars by disabling unauthorised vehicles from entering or leaving the lot. Almost every airport features parking/cashier booths. Some are fairly basic; others are upgraded.

For instance, on the way out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport 18 prefabricated Delta parking/cashier booths help handle the airport’s doubled parking capacity of 13,000 spaces. Put in prior to 9-11, these booths are simultaneously aesthetically pleasing and contribute to the overall security of the airport by providing vehicle access control. The rounded corners and custom-painted design complement their two 9-level parking structures. Two heaters, double insulation and tinted glass help parking attendants to guard against both the Minnesota winters and sun.

Increased security measures

Contrast them with the bullet-resistant level 4 booths used at California’s Ontario Airport. These 6 x 12-foot buildings were manufactured to meet tight specification requirements, including structural calculations and wet seals from drawings by a Registered California Structural Engineer.

Such barricades can be raised or lowered at will to stop traffic or let it through

The ramp-up in guard booths illustrates the increased security measures airports now take with vehicle control. Soon after 9-11, the United States Air Force began deploying very high-security DSC501 barriers at its facilities around the globe. The DSC501 barricade will stop and destroy a 65,000 lb. vehicle traveling 50 mph. Such barricades can be raised or lowered at will to stop traffic or let it through. In an emergency, the thick steel plates or bollards pop out of the ground within 1.5 seconds. Commercial airports followed suit.

Optic communication lines

This barricade was originally designed for the U.S. Navy and has also been selected for use at U.S. Embassies. Set in a foundation only 18 inches deep, the Delta DSC501 is able to survive after a 5.4 million foot-pound impact.

With its shallow foundation, it obviates the concerns of interference with buried pipes, power lines, and fibre optic communication lines, a major consideration at airports. The shallow foundation also reduces installation complexity, time, materials and corresponding costs. Front face warning lights warn drivers that the barricade is in the ‘up’ position. There is also an open area on the front for signage. Diagonal yellow and white stripes are standard and optional colours and graphics are available. The open channel construction even lets airports specify hot dip galvanising.

Securing access points

The sliding gate system that is used in such an application must be crash rated

Among the many FAA mandates airports must meet is one that requires securing access points to international freight lines. That includes access to air cargo facilities, where scores of trucks must go in and out on an hourly basis. That was the issue facing California’s largest fencing contractor, Alcorn Fence, at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for Qantas and Singapore Airlines.

The sliding gate system that is used in such an application must be crash rated. Clear openings range from 12 to 30 feet. A linear crash gate will withstand the impact of a 15,000 lb vehicle striking the gate at 50 mph. To solve the problem, Alcorn Fence installed crash-tested swing gates on the runway that accesses the cargo facilities.

Minimising installation costs

The SCG1000 provides openings of up to 40 feet and the gates can be up to nine feet tall. Best of all no ground tracks are required, keeping installation costs to a minimum while protecting the integrity of the runway. These gates can be seen at LAX on the runway accessing the Singapore Airlines and Qantas Airlines terminals.

This gate, like the SGC 1000, doesn't need a track, wheels or roller path across the entrance

LAX additionally uses the SC3000 industrial gate in various places. This gate, like the SGC 1000, doesn't need a track, wheels, or roller path across the entrance or drive it protects. Thus, it adapts well to roads with high crowns, drainage gutters or other conditions that preclude ground tracks.

Creating secure environments

Aesthetics should not be overlooked. With smart designs, it's no longer necessary to choose between form and function. Airports can have them both. Designers are creating secure environments with more compatible and aesthetically pleasing architectural elements. With bollards, airports can create the look they want. Ranging from faceted, fluted, tapered, rings and ripples, colours, pillars, to shields, emblems and logos, bollards are aesthetically pleasing and versatile. In other words, they dress up airport security.

Bollard systems operate individually or in groups of up to ten and are used for intermediate-level security applications. Individual bollards are up to 13.25 inches in diameter, up to 35 inches high and are usually mounted on 3-foot centres. Hydraulic and pneumatic versions can be operated by a variety of control systems. Manual versions are counter balanced and lock in the up or down position.

Crash-resistant device

All models are crash rated and lower to allow passage of authorised vehicles

All models are crash rated and lower to allow passage of authorised vehicles. The incident at Glasgow International Airport raised new concerns for airports. The airport was evacuated after a green Jeep Cherokee struck the airport's terminal building and burst into flames.

In such cases, a cost-effective fixed bollard array can be used instead of retractable bollards. However, airport infrastructures exacerbate installation problems caused by rough surfaces, turns, and lack of traditional foundation depth due to subsurface utilities and fibre optics, among others. Moreover, conventional barriers require surface areas to be completely level. Given the growing demand for a crash-resistant device that is easy to install, attractive, yet compliant with restrictive subsurface conditions, the DSC 600 Shallow Foundation Bollard was recently introduced.

Unauthorised vehicle intruders

Traditionally on curves, setbacks often end up too close to the facility. Now, airports can install bollards on the upper levels of parking structures and other unprotected facilities without using unsightly ‘make-do’ solutions to stop car bombers or negligent drivers.

New DSC 600 Shallow Foundation Bollards will protect approaches to airport facilities

New DSC 600 Shallow Foundation Bollards will protect approaches to airport facilities, drop-off and passenger loading areas at transportation hubs and other presently unprotected locations where unauthorised vehicle intruders have no obstacles to stop them. With the DSC 600 bollard modules, those facilities surrounded by streets, abutting sidewalks and set back on lawns can now be effectively protected. The new DSC 600 bollards will blend into curves, rough terrain or inclines easily. Setbacks can be as short as two feet, providing a much greater safety cushion for the airport facility.

High-energy stops

With a foundation only 14 inches deep versus the four feet typically required, Shallow Foundation Bollards can be installed within sidewalks, on top of concrete deck truss bridges or in planters as well as conform to the inclines and turns of a locale. The new 2-bollard modules, which can be arrayed in whatever length is required, will stop and destroy a 15,000-pound truck traveling 50 miles per hour.

They have already successfully passed a K12 rating crash test, providing proof of their ability to provide high-energy stops. In fact, the DSC 600 is the first Shallow Foundation Bollard to successfully meet the U.S. Department of State Specification, Revision A that requires the bed of the attacking truck to go less than 39 inches beyond the point of impact.

Total kinetic energy

If the speed is reduced by 2/3rds, the force of impact will be reduced by nine times

The new bollard modules also meet the 1-meter clearance regulations mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Although the DSC 600 bollards will let people pass through them, they will stop vehicles dead in their tracks.

Because of the relationship of velocity to the total kinetic energy possessed by a vehicle, airports typically force a vehicle to slow down before it reaches the bollard, or any other barrier in fact. The most frequently used technique is to require a sharp turn immediately in front of the barrier. When vehicle speed is reduced by 50 percent, the ‘hitting power’ is reduced by four times. If the speed is reduced by 2/3rds, the force of impact will be reduced by nine times.

Reducing security risks

Upon designing a way to slow down vehicle approach, they also assure that the attacking car cannot make a ‘corner cutting shot’ at a barricade. Often, only a light post defines a turning point and a speeding car can take it out and not even hesitate. Knolls and other impediments are typically employed.

By their very nature, terrorist attacks are unpredictable and predicated on surprise. Staying one step ahead by identifying vulnerable areas, and securing them, is critical to staving off vehicular attacks. Terrorists typically don't go where they see barricades, so placing them wherever possible attacks can happen reduces security risks dramatically.

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