As a tourist and commercial gateway to the country, the International Airport of Mexico City (AICM) plays a vital role in the development of Mexico’s economy, ensuring the prosperity and global accessibility of this burgeoning nation.

International and domestic hub

The AICM is Latin America’s busiest airport, and one of the world’s 30 most active airports in terms of passengers, operations and cargo. Located six miles east of Mexico City, the airport is Mexico’s primary international and domestic hub, with direct flights to more than 300 worldwide destinations. The airport boasts an impressive array of modern facilities including restaurants, shops, hotel reservation desks, tourist information, ATMs, banks, foreign exchange, business facilities and a post office.

Further increasing the complexity of the AICM’s operation, the airport is undergoing major construction work, including building new concourses and a new terminal (Terminal 2). Once built, the new facilities are expected to increase airport passenger capacity by nearly 50%. This will enable the airport to handle an additional 16 million passengers per year, up from the current 32 million travellers who pass through.

Layers of security

With all this activity, the issue of access control is a key consideration. With nearly 340,000 flights in a year, and about 20,000 staff on site, the AICM has significant access control requirements. As a regional leader, the AICM turned to HID Global, a manufacturer in the access control industry, to help address its needs.

With nearly 340,000 flights in a year, and about 20,000 staff on site, the AICM has significant access control requirements

Preventing terrorist attacks and protecting the domestic and global transportation network, transportation security is a critical mission for any airport. One way in which airports have effectively provided traveller security is by setting up security layers to protect airline passengers. The layers include security measures like airport checkpoints, canine searches, air marshals, luggage inspection and explosive material detection. Each layer of protection, on its own, is capable of preventing terrorist attacks; together, the layers’ security value is exponentially higher, creating a much stronger overall security system.

Another omnipresent layer of airport security is access control. Controlling access to key airport functions is a critical security task. Given the size, amenities and complexity of the AICM, controlling access to areas can be a huge task.

Access control needs

When it was time for the AICM to consider a system upgrade, Manager of Airport Identification, Enrique De la Mora, a member of AICM’s security staff, worked with integrator Ernesto Ibarra from IR Systems S.A. de C.V. to define the scope of AICM’s access control needs. In evaluating various offerings, the airport’s security was dependent on the following considerations:

  • Size and Complexity: With AICM’s size, amenities and complexity, controlling access to restricted areas would be a massive undertaking.

  • Multi-factor Authentication: Concerned with vandalism and identity theft, the airport identified that it would need some type of multi-factor authentication to maintain strict access control to restricted areas like VIP rooms and operations areas. AICM management had to ensure that the “right” people would get in, but the “wrong” people would be kept out.

  • Secure Credentials: Significant authentication capabilities were needed at the credential level. The credentials chosen by the airport would need to be counterfeit-proof, ensuring the integrity of the card issuance process.

  • Scalable Solution: Credential issuance would also need to be a fluid, yet secure, process. The credential issuance procedure would have to be scalable to address new locations and employee status. With the expected opening of a new terminal, AICM management wanted to ensure that it would only need to provide badges for each employee once, for all facilities.

  • Latest Technology: De la Mora and AICM were ready to upgrade to the latest technology. “We have been using an integrated 125 kHz proximity-based access control system, powered by HID cards and readers, since 1998. The AICM decided the time and needs were right to move ahead to the most advanced, best-of-class system,” commented De la Mora.

Having determined those needs and rationale, the AICM turned to HID Global for its innovative applications of technology and expertise. To address its mission-critical requirements, AICM management determined that cards and readers from HID Global were the right solution.

New airport access control system

Based on its scope evaluation and previous experience with HID Global products, AICM felt secure in purchasing access control hardware. AICM set up a new access control system based around the V-Smart iCLASS access control readers and 16k bit (2k Byte) contactless smart cards.

The equipment, supplied by Bioscrypt and HID, requires biometric authentication in addition to identity verification for card carriers to gain access to restricted areas. The fingerprint readers include HID iCLASS® 13.56 MHz read/write contactless smart card technology, to manage access to restricted sites within the airport; such as VIP rooms and operations areas.

Combining biometric read capability (using Bioscrypt’s fingerprint authentication) with an HID iCLASS contactless smart card read/write module, the single unit reader represents optimal dual factor authentication for high security at this vital site.

“With V-Smart iCLASS, the identity verification process is doubled. If someone wants to go through a controlled door, he must first identify himself by presenting his access control card. Upon accurate reading and verification of the card, the cardholder then places his finger on the biometric reader to prove that the person carrying the credential really is the person the credential is issued to. This way, it is practically impossible to enter with a card that does not belong to the card holder,” De La Mora emphasised.

"This way, it is practically impossible to enter with a card that does not belong to the card holder"

HID Global Solution addresses AICM needs

Size and Complexity

Given the number of airport staff and potential intruders, De la Mora suggests that efficient operations surrounding identity verification and clearance to the airport’s restricted areas would truly present a logistical challenge without the V-Smart iCLASS reader electronic access control system. The airport’s large card user base, including employees, airline staff, cleaning and maintenance staff, and luggage transporters, suited the use of a biometric solution for access control.

Multi-factor Authentication

For high security at this vital site, users of the new access control system present an identity credential to the reader, then have their fingerprint read by the Bioscrypt device, to authenticate the cardholder’s identity.

Secure Credentials

The credentials chosen by the airport employ the latest security features, including extra secure printing features. Credentials feature a colour photograph of the user, his/her name, title, employer, personal date of use and other data printed on the card. The card also includes a colour code that identifies the card carrier’s functional area, with a holographic over-laminate for increased security.

 Scalable Solution

The Management of Airport Identification issues between 25 and 50 permanent credentials and about 200 temporary credentials on a daily basis. It expects its card issuance to increase when Terminal 2 operations begin. Current cardholders can use the same identity credential to go from the airport’s Terminal 1 to the new Terminal 2. The administration will purchase an additional 51 VSmart iCLASS readers to manage access control when the new terminal comes on line.

Latest biometric technology

Fingerprint biometric readers have proven to be a reliable and mature solution, making it a primary technology for airport deployment around the world. The V-Smart iCLASS reader provides dual authentication security by ensuring “what you have” and “who you are”.

With strong compatibility between iCLASS and the access control system, the Bioscrypt V-Smart iCLASS system can be seamlessly and cost effectively integrated to meet airport requirements. The biometric verification occurs locally at the V-Smart iCLASS reader and not remotely at a server. Storing the biometric template securely on the iCLASS contactless smart card eliminates the added cost of having to install a separate hard-wired network for template management.

In addition to these features, the AICM was swayed by HID’s entire standard service offering that comes with its products, ensuring a successful security integration. One feature of HID’s service offering is its Corporate 1000 program™, which offers a custom-created, 35-bit card format exclusive for the end-user, establishing a “Single Card Solution.” Under this program, more than one million individual card numbers are available to AICM, tracked during manufacturing to ensure no duplicate card numbers. The Corporate 1000 program also guarantees that the airport’s authorized integrator, IR Systems, is the only entity able to purchase cards from HID Global on the airport’s behalf.

Success for new system

With nearly 20,000 cards in use, issued to a variety of personnel including airport employees, airline staff, airport cleaning and maintenance staff, and luggage transporters, the biometric solution allows precise access control to restricted areas, virtually eliminating the possibility of counterfeiting.

The AICM was swayed by HID’s entire standard service offering
that comes with its products

To date, the airport has deployed over 60 Bioscrypt V-Smart iCLASS readers for facility security. The fingerprint readers included HID iCLASS 13.56 MHz read/write contactless smart card technology, to restrict access to high profile sites within the airport. With widespread use of the iCLASS credential, there is also room in the future for the IAMC to consider implementation of other applications based on the use of the existing HID iCLASS credential.

In response to AICM’s anticipation of illegal intrusion threats and other criminal activities that could go on at the airport, the HID Global solution is ideal for AICM’s access control needs. Using V-Smart iCLASS readers and benefiting from the advantages of HID’s Corporate 1000 program, card holders can use the same identity credential to move from the airport’s Terminal 1 to Terminal 2.


Through its people, processes and technologies, airport patrons (whether tourists, business travellers, or freight transporters) can continue to rely on the AICM’s massive international network of commerce, generating enormous opportunities for Mexico’s economy. A secure international airport enables the country to participate more fully in the social and economic benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as well as access to global trading partners.

HID Global aims to provide the ideal solution for transportation security. Occupying the access control “layer” of security, IACM is seeing the benefits of HID and Bioscrypt’s advanced fingerprint technology solution as it implements counterterrorism security measures.

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ASSA ABLOY's Yale celebrates 175 years, smart locks and new partnerships
ASSA ABLOY's Yale celebrates 175 years, smart locks and new partnerships

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Smart home access control growth and the future of door security
Smart home access control growth and the future of door security

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A surprising 42% of those surveyed, for example, were unaware they could control a smart door lock from their phone. In fact, many leading smart door lock models offer this feature, delivered by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and an app. Despite a wealth of features offered by the latest smart door locks — remote and location-based locking/unlocking; voice activation; timed access; emailed entry alerts; and integration with smart camera and lighting systems — most people still have limited knowledge of their capabilities.  Smart technology is increasingly becoming the new norm in terms of home security  Only 14% of survey respondents described themselves as “very familiar” with what a smart lock can do. Even though most of them probably use smart access control solutions at their workplace. Secure homes through smart technology Monitoring and security are not the only drivers for smart home adoption. We humans also love convenience, and modern living presents us with problems that smart home technology can solve. Ironically, given the report’s findings, it takes a smartphone to really unlock the convenient possibilities of smarter living. The device that’s “always to hand” is central to the newest generation of smart door locks.A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out If homeowners wish to remotely manage property access for friends and family, many smart door locks oblige. You let in guests remotely, send them a virtual digital key, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door. It is just as easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore. This is a significant improvement over sharing physical keys — or hiding one under the doormat. We cannot be totally sure where a metal key ends up and have no way to track or cancel it once it’s “out in the wild”. 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Selected customers of some major Scandinavian e-retailers could choose to have parcels delivered inside their front door, if it was equipped with a Yale smart door lock.  Home delivery is among potential smart services covered in “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018 ”. When asked whether the ability to receive parcels securely in a porch or lobby would make them more likely to invest in a smart door lock, 79% said it would.It is easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore Holiday rentals and smart home tech ASSA ABLOY research published in 2017 forecasts continued growth in the European holiday rentals sector (at 5.8% CAGR). Smart door locks are also making an impact here, at both ends of the market: for service providers — agents and homeowners — and for travellers. A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out, without creating extra work or staff costs. Both Intersoft, in Croatia, and Hoomvip in Spain have built holiday rentals management systems around an app and the ENTR® smart door lock. Agents issue, revoke, track and manage virtual keys for all their guests, saving everyone time and hassle. Travellers use their phones and an app to unlock their apartment. For these visitors the smartphone is already an essential travel accessory. It is a boarding pass, a credit card, a travel guide, and a postcard home... why not a door key, too? And if this key is backed by a trusted home security brand — and a company with vast experience in the mature market for commercial “smart” security — better still.

Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry
Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry

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The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform"Mangold-Takao: From a technical perspective we see two main drivers: increasing computing power at the edge and increasing internet connectivity, which will enable devices to directly communicate with each other and bring new technologies such as artificial intelligence also to the security and safety industry. At the same time, we see that this industry and its users are hungry for more innovative solutions – addressing new security needs while at the same leveraging the possibility to improve business operations for specific verticals, e.g. retail and transportation. The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform for this industry. Q: Why does SAST need to be a separate entity from Bosch? Mangold-Takao: SAST is setup as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group. We wanted to make sure that SAST is able to underline its role as an industry standard platform across multiple players. SAST is open to get additional investors and is being setup as a startup in its own offices in Munich to foster the environment where speed and innovation can more easily take place. Having said that, several entities of the Bosch Group are very interesting partners for SAST. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications Q: Please explain your "value proposition" to the industry. Mangold-Takao: We will bring new innovations and possibilities to the security and safety industry by providing an open, secure and standardised Operating System for video security cameras, to also address pressing issues such as cyber security and data privacy concerns. Devices that run then with the SAST operating system will work with an application marketplace provided and operated by SAST. Integrators and users can then use these apps from this marketplace to deploy additional functionality on these devices. With our platform we will be able to build up a community of app developers, including the ones not yet developing for this industry who have expertise in computer vision and artificial intelligence. Q: It seems what you are doing has parallels with the Apple and Android "app" stores. How is your approach the same (and how is it different) than those approaches? We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process"Mangold-Takao: The approach is similar in the way that we plan to generate revenue by operating the application marketplace and thus participate in the app revenue. 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We will also run selected pilots with end-users throughout 2019 to ensure we have all partners involved early on. SAST sees the industry is hungry for more innovative solutions – with the retail vertical market a target for these solutions Q: What timeline do you foresee in terms of implementing these initiatives? Mangold-Takao: While we start with first app development programs and plan our first pilots already for this year, we are planning our commercial launch for end of 2019. Q: How does your new company relate to the new Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA)? Mangold-Takao: The Open Security and Safety Alliance has been working very closely with SAST over the past year, defining some important concepts and elements required. One of the most important elements is an open and standardised Operating System, specific to this industry, which will then bring forward new innovative technologies and solutions. 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