Securing Australia’s Aviation Sector
How CyberLock’s electro-mechanical master key system can help secure the aviation sector.
The Australian aviation sector is comprised of over 600 airports across the country, this includes all international, domestic, private and military airports. Security at all these facilities is of the utmost importance and is regulated by the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005. An efficient, safe and secure aviation system is integral to Australia’s social and economic well being but more so than that, it connects Australians with each other and the rest of the world.
Within an airport, it’s not just airport employees that work, visit and operate in an airport. There are a multitude of businesses and organisations operating independently within a single facility including retail and food outlets, catering, baggage handling and maintenance staff to name a few. Not to mention the thousands of travellers and visitors that pass through an airport on a daily basis. Securing airports and managing access for thousands, or even tens of thousands, of employees, contractors and civilians is an incredibly large and vital undertaking.
For many airports, this means securing hundreds of remote access points, and for each of those points, managing access for a dynamic group of key holders. To add further complexity, these access points may be situated at perimeter gates, exterior doors, and other peripheral locations that are difficult to integrate with an airport’s primary security and network infrastructure. While most, if not all, airports have some measure of access control in place, it’s essential that operators carefully evaluate their security devices to determine if such systems are capable of handling the evolving needs of the aviation sector.
Airports have many security vulnerabilities that need to be secured.
EKA CyberLock is an ideal solution.
Perimeter gates are one of the most significant vulnerabilities to airports. Out of sight and often well removed from the closest building or security office, through these gates people can access runways and tarmacs, airplane hangars and more. Also, it happens to be that a lot of the people that access these gates, such as contractors, maintenance personnel and emergency services, hardly ever visit the terminals and so issuing and updating access as well as restricting access is crucial.
Darwin International Airport (DIA) serves more than 2.2 million passengers a year and is the Northern Territory’s primary airport. According to DIA’s Systems Coordinator, Nikkie Harley, their existing mechanical access control system was no longer serving its purpose and posed many security threats. “We found our conventional mechanical master key system had a lot of security risks associated with lost keys and the lack of being able to see who was accessing which doors, gates and when” said Nikkie.
DIA required full access control of all assets under a single coordinated umbrella, including their extensive list of remote and perimeter gates. In order to do this, they upgraded their old mechanical master key system to a fully electronic electro-mechanical EKA CyberLock master key system. They replaced all existing padlocks on perimeter gates with CyberLock cylinders and installed several CyberLock authoriser units to cater for those, such as fire department officers, who needed access to the lock at random times but had no need to visit the terminals or security office. The authoriser units also helped to limit the number of lost keys they had in their previous system.
“Being able to control individual access privileges and pull audit trails has allowed us to strengthen the security of our airport” says Nikkie, “The fact that we can now easily and quickly block lost keys means we can eliminate potential security breaches of unauthorised access to secure areas, something that was just not possible with a mechanical master key system.
CyberLock can easily be integrated with existing security systems.
As mentioned previously, choosing an access control system that is not only able to meet the unique security demands of an airport but can also integrate seamlessly with their primary security network is key. Not only does CyberLock offer hardwired and key centric access control technology within one software package, but it can also be integrated with various existing security systems or networks. Using the CyberLock Flex System, an airport can retain card readers at high traffic locations while affordably securing hundreds of remote access points with CyberLock electronic cylinders. Alternatively, in collaboration with CyberLock’s in-house tech consultants and software developers, airports can also integrate CyberLock with existing security systems.
When Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) were looking to upgrade their master key system they were looking for several things – government endorsed, accountability features such as audit trails and a system with a software they could integrate with their existing bar-coding system to complete the control of updating contractor’s licences. CyberLock ticked all the boxes and BAC installed CyberLock throughout both its domestic and international terminals. They were able to customise and integrate CyberLock’s system and software with their bar-coding software and issue contractors with CyberKeys to gain access to certain sites.
DIA also customised CyberLock technology with their existing network system. Due to the remoteness of some of the perimeter gates, it meant there was no power or network points to power the CyberLock authoriser units. While CyberLock cylinders do not need power or cables to open, the authoriser units that issue the keys do. Through clever thinking, the problem was solved by solar power and using a 4G network.
“There were no network points or power at these gates, so a solution had to be engineered to provide power and network at these places. The DIA staff, including the security manager Matt Cocker and the IT manager Tim Woods initiated the concept of running solar-powered authoriser units using a 4G network to communicate with the server,” says installer Ryan McGovern, General Manager – Electric Security, Independent Locksmiths and Security. “The information from the database is transmitted to the key update authorisers using TCP/IP protocols. In the terminals this transmission is over ethernet cabling but on the perimeter, where cabling could not be achieved, the 4G network has been used for the communication between the server and the key updating authorisers.”
For the infrastructure and utility industries that have unique security requirements, a fully electronic electro-mechanical master key system like CyberLock is the ideal solution. As illustrated in this article, it’s clear that CyberLock can be customised to suit most airport needs and can seamlessly integrate into existing or primary security networks.
From CyberLock’s Flex System to aid in the card reading at high traffic access points, to CyberLock Vaults and authoriser units being used in remote locations to grant access to contractors and lastly to installing CyberLock cylinders which are IP68 rated and weather and element resistance on outdoor padlocks to ensure maximum security, there is a product to meet most needs.
For more information on CyberLock and the Darwin International Airport and Brisbane Airport Corporation case studies, please visit our Case Studies section.
SYDNEY • MELBOURNE • BRISBANE • PERTH • ADELAIDE • AUCKLAND