Levels of security inside the Aviation industry have never been higher; mainly due to increased terrorism threat levels across the globe, combined with a worldwide rise in smuggling activity. No airport is immune from these pressures and Ghana’s ‘Kotoka International’ can now claim to meet ACC3, the highest accreditation in the aviation industry, thanks to their recent investment in the latest generation of IP CCTV systems from Hikvision.

Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport

Established in 1994, Aviance Ghana Ltd provides a range of ground handling services at Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport, situated just outside the capital, Accra. The airport itself is Ghana’s premier international flight centre and is capable of accepting large aircrafts, such as the latest generation of Boeing 747. It occupies more than 650 hectares, with two large terminals for domestic/regional and international/long-haul operations that are connected by an internal walkway.

Terminal 2 is the principal international departure terminal and includes restaurants, duty-free shops and two Executive lounges for First and Business Class travellers. There are also two smaller terminals dedicated solely to diplomatic flights and military operations.

Aviance Ghana is one of eight companies making up the Aviance Alliance, which operates at more than 100 airport locations across 4 continents. At Kotoka, the ground services include managing all the passenger concourse facilities in Terminal 2, plus passenger check-in and baggage handling, the loading and unloading of cargo from freight flights and a cargo warehouse operation for all import and export needs.

Overriding security objectives

Given that today’s security concerns require the aviation industry to maintain very high levels of protection measures, close scrutiny of the 650 hectare site that the airport occupies and protecting passengers, aircraft and cargo were the twin key objectives for Aviance when deciding to upgrade the Airport’s CCTV system. The company also recognised that intelligently deploying the camera infrastructure would be necessary to maximise cost-effectiveness and efficiency.

Aviance Ghana turned to Skylinks Technical Services Ltd and tasked them with designing a solution that would enable it to meet the EU’s ACC3 accreditation, the highest accreditation in the aviation industry. In turn, Skylinks turned to Hikvision for the design of an all-IP CCTV system capable of not only meeting the current challenges facing Aviance in its operation at Kotoka International Airport, but also providing an expandable base that could rise to meet future developments.

The new Skylink CCTV system design uses four different types of Hikvision IP cameras connected to a 32-channel, RAID 5 NVR over an entirely new Gigabit network infrastructure. According to Haim Atanelov, Skylinks General Manager, “The final brief for the CCTV upgrade included installation of new cameras in Aviance’s import and export cargo warehouses, both entry and exit vehicle gates, within the terminal public areas, at the biometric log-in area and associated turnstiles, and within the VIP lounge areas.

“In all of these disparate areas, we were challenged by Aviance to deliver high resolution images at all times and in all lighting conditions. It is these pressures that helped us in choosing Hikvision components, with their robust build quality, excellent video quality, and quick and simple installation and operation due to the user-friendly software. It also helped that the products offer very competitive prices and are accompanied by after-sales service and technical support from a first-class team.”

Clear images in poor lighting conditions

The CCTV system uses a combination of IP66-rated dome and bullet cameras with either 1.3 or 3MP resolution. A total of four DS-2CD2312-I 1.3MP Outdoor Network Mini Dome cameras were installed, two in the public areas of the terminal and two at the main gates where passengers complete the biometric log-in process and enter through the turnstiles. To complement the dome cameras, nine EXIR bullet cameras were used: five DS-2CD2212-I5 1.3 MP units for general surveillance in the warehouses together with a pair of DS-2CD2232-I5 3MP units where greater resolution was required, and two DS-2CD2632F-I 3MP Vari-focal EXIR cameras for the main vehicle entry and exit gates.

"Aviance is committed to phasing out the old system in favour of a totally Hikvision IP system as soon as possible"

“All of the cameras offer great resolution, with 3D DNR and Digital WDR as standard, together with a full complement of alarm triggers, including line crossing and motion and intrusion detection says Haim Atanelov.

“But, the true day/night capability of the EXIR infrared technology meant that they always delivered clear images, even in the warehouses where lighting conditions are not good. Both the 1.3MP and 3MP bullet cameras employed in the warehouses live up to the 50-metre IR range quoted. What’s more, the 30-metre EXIR range of the mini dome cameras deployed in the terminal building is also very useful during night time hours when the building lighting is partially shut down.

“We also paid particular attention to the vehicle entry and exit points, in each case choosing the 3MP Vari-focal bullet cameras for their IP66 environmental protection, high resolution, advanced night viewing capabilities and zoom.”

Into the future

The new system has already proved its worth, helping to completely seal the export warehouse in particular and enabling Kotoka to meet ACC3 accreditation. Together with securing the import warehouse, which serves global airline and cargo brands such as British Airways, South African Airways, Alitalia, KLM, Virgin, DHL, Cargolux, etc., it means that the airport is well-placed to continue to attract business.

“Aviance is especially pleased with the smooth integration of the Hikvision IP system with the access control system at the 4 turnstiles,” says Haim Atanelov, “something which was also carefully noted by the EU ACC3 validators. Aviance was also pleased with the integration of the new system with the existing analogue CCTV system, although it did show up the difference in video quality immediately. We have already agreed to add further IP cameras to the site and Aviance is committed to phasing out the old system in favour of a totally Hikvision IP system as soon as possible.”

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