Valdosta Regional Airport in Valdosta, Georgia offers three daily commercial flights to and from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, along with general aviation. The airport contains three runways, two of which are used by commercial aircraft. The airport offers ground transportation, free parking, a Subway restaurant, and many other services such as hangar space and flight training to name a few.

Previously, Valdosta Regional Airport operated a legacy Matrix access control system. The proprietary system, including the readers, panels and software, was outdated, making it difficult and expensive to obtain replacement parts.

Building automation systems

Looking for an open solution, Valdosta Regional Airport turned to Allcom Global Services for their expertise and upgraded to AMAG Technology’s Symmetry SR Retrofit Access Control system with HID readers. “Symmetry integrates into various video, intrusion and building automation systems,” said Kevin Cioffi, vice president, Allcom Global Services.

Valdosta has more freedom to research competitive pricing and alternative options"

By choosing an open system, Valdosta has more freedom to research competitive pricing and alternative options. We are thrilled they have chosen Allcom. We gutted all the circuit boards and changed them to the Symmetry panels,” said Tim Register, operations manager/airport security coordinator, Valdosta Regional Airport. “We kept the antennas and how the data was transmitted. All the mounts stayed the same; we just swapped in Symmetry and it worked.”

Integrating different technologies

Symmetry controls access to the perimeter of the airport including the vehicle access gates and all outside doors facing the Security Identification Display Area (SIDA). The SIDA includes all areas that have access to the commercial apron and tarmac. The SIDA also requires a reader with a PIN-plus-card swipe to open, which make up 75% of the airport’s readers.

The remaining Airport Operations Areas (AOA) require only a proximity card swipe to open, which are mostly internal doors and the main entrance. Thirty-two new HID proximity card readers were installed in total. To get the open system the airport required, Valdosta Regional Airport replaced older panels with Symmetry SR panels. As the Symmetry system changes or expands, integrating different technologies or adding more readers will be easy and less expensive.

More economical approach

The simple job of creating a badge for a user was cumbersome and time consuming with their old system

The security operators found Symmetry much easier to learn and use, saving money and hours in training time. The simple job of creating a badge for a user was cumbersome and time consuming with their old system.

With Symmetry, badges are created on demand, onsite, with no hassle or extra charge. “Symmetry provided us a more economical approach to facilitate the same thing we used to do with a more expensive, proprietary system,” said Register. “It is much easier to create a badge with Symmetry.”

Life flight helicopter

Airport authority employees, TSA, airline employees, fixed based operators, life flight helicopter and fixed wing aircraft are all protected by Symmetry. In addition to the perimeter, Symmetry controls access to all work areas within the airport and to the hangars located inside the perimeter fence.

An incident happened one Sunday morning where a car hit a pole and brought the power down,” said Tim Register. “If we were operating the Matrix system, it would have been down for hours. Our Symmetry system was only down minutes.”

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