Currently, primion Technology AG is installing a very large security system at Frankfurt Airport. The contracting body is the operating company, Fraport AG. Through the introduction of the new system, some existing equip-ment components will be replaced or integrated. Essentially, the project is divided up between Access Control, Credential/Visitor Management, Gate Control and Time Recording. This project is also one of the most extensive and largest IT projects currently being undertaken by Fraport AG. Permanently increasing requirements in respect of airport security, coupled with the recent discussions about the reliability of commonly-used read technologies, give an added significance to the future system. The contract has a multi-million Euro volume with a project runtime stretching over several years.
"Even the test system that we have installed has a wider scope than some complete customer systems," explains Jürgen Eichhorn, the primion Project Manager with responsibility for the airport project. His team consists on average of 20 to 25 people on site and in the Development departments. The customer specification falls outside previous standard frameworks and as such, the list of requirements is correspondingly long, containing currently around 1,000 individual demands.
In order to localise and define these requirements more accurately, 10 different detailed concepts have been drawn up so far covering the software (Worktime Recording, Access Control, Credential Management and Gate Access System), documentation, service, handover, training and both the general and the rollout infrastructure. Together with the Compliance List, these concept documents provide the basis for the project implementation.
At a very early stage in the project, Fraport AG took the decision to implement a currently insurmountable state-of-the-art RFID system in the area of Access Control and Gate Security. By the final stage of the project, over 4,000 terminals, some of which will have been specially constructed for gate control both indoors and outdoors, together with around 1,000 IDT 32 controllers will have been installed and/or swapped out. This includes gate control for the new construction at Terminal 1 (A-Plus), which has been created especially for the Airbus A380. The work on the gate access system presents a particular challenge: the Hessen Ministry of Trade, Transport and State Development (HMWVL) has to accept and approve the access control for each individual gate.
Additionally, there has to be a differentiation made between the handling of passengers on a flight originating from a country that is a signatory to the Schengen Accord and those from a country that isn’t. An additional challenging task for the on-site primion technology is that of controlling passenger flows through the airport premises. These are also not the everyday demands that are placed on the primion software development team. Thanks to the airport’s high security requirements and through the deployment of the latest technology, the Fraport project certainly represents an interesting challenge for all involved.
primion software and hardware will also be used to completely restructure the previous credential management system. Many different levels of authorisation and authentication have to be applied to some 70,000 credentials using a number of different interfaces. For instance a contractor employee can only access the Fraport Intranet if he can produce a valid credential. Further interfaces will be implemented for the primion access control, for cashless staff restaurant billing, for the ERP system, for the primion time recording with further ERP system interfacing, for the issuing of reliability checks and for the authorisation to use lockers. In preparation for the switch-over to the new Credential Management System, the existing authorisation structures are having to be revisited and reworked at the moment.
primion's Security Control Centre solution, psm 2200, is also playing a vital role with all the installations and restructuring at Frankfurt Airport. It enables the standardised operation of different hardware and the system-wide monitoring and automatic triggering of corresponding measures, in the case of alarm situations, for example. All messages are visualised, processed, distributed and logged,
Dr. Jörg Wacker who, as manager of the IUK-AF2 Department at Frankfurt Airport, is in charge of Information and Communication Systems, is very happy with the project team and the innovative approach that has been shown up to now: "In combination with the intensive collaboration that takes place between both the primion and Fraport project teams, the frequent on-site presence by the primion employees is an important success factor for the project. The first fruits of this good teamwork came with the achievement of an important project milestone, when a test gate was installed and commissioned, in order to be able to visualise and test the complex interaction of all the system components that make up the Gate Access System."
The challenge for primion continues. The current work that is being done and the ongoing site visits as well as the discussions about the fine details with the end-users at Frankfurt Airport, are continuously resulting in new ideas and possibilities for expansions or for the swapping out of existing installations and equipment. The significance of this unusual challenge is made clear by Jürgen Eichhorn when he says, "All involved are really putting their heart and soul into this project!"
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