Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL) is situated on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island and receives more than six million passengers a year. It is New Zealand’s second largest airport and the busiest and most strategic air connection from the South Island to the world’s trade and tourism markets. With such high numbers of passengers going through the airport, providing a safe and secure environment is an important part of CIAL’s vision to be recognized as New Zealand’s leading tourism gateway.

In a legislation driven airport environment, CIAL is mandated by a number of Civil Aviation rules and regulations to provide control and monitoring of all access to restricted security areas. Gallagher protects all primary areas of aviation activity within the airport -terminal, airfield, support buildings and infrastructure. The Gallagher perimeter security system provides monitored electrical fencing for a small section of CIAL’s 16km of fence line protecting more than 300 hectares of land.

CIAL Operations Manager Tim Morris says the desire to operate a modern and reliable access control system prompted the need to upgrade CIAL’s access system to Gallagher in 2007. “We needed something to provide the required security functionality today and allow for easy integration for more advanced requirements for the future,” he says. “We followed a robust evaluation process and found the Gallagher product was the best value for money and the best support structure for our site. In-house capability was a feature that set it apart from other systems.”

Residing on the existing Local Area Network, using TCP/IP, the Gallagher system features peer-to-peer communications, so if communications with the head end need to be taken down, those on the airport using the system are not affected. This means if the airport experiences network communications problems, security and access control of the site would not be compromised. Multiple workstations access the database to manage cardholders, events, check on the status of doors, override doors and trace activity. System division is used to enable the airport to be divided for management and monitoring purposes.

CIAL takes advantage of Gallagher’s reporting functionality by running automatic shift change reports
The Gallagher system manages cardholders by groups for cardholders who share the same access requirements

With more than 5000 cardholders accessing more than 400 doors, gates and fences, cardholder management has to be efficient and allow for changes to be applied easily to groups of cardholders. The Gallagher system manages cardholders by groups for cardholders who share the same access requirements. A cardholder may belong to one or more access groups to get their full access privileges.

All service elevators are operated with an access card and once an area of the airport has been “sealed” for security (i.e. international departure lounge), access to these floors is automatically denied, so the areas become accessible only via a particular security clearance entryway.

There are three auto gates which allow authorized vehicles access onto the airfield at various points. When a vehicle drives up to the auto gate, the driver badges the access card and the information and photo of the cardholder pops up on the operator’s screen. Granting access requires the operator to check the driver against the photo on screen, as well as ensure their competencies are up to date. If the driver’s Civil Aviation ID or airside driving permit is due to expire soon, the operator is notified on screen and therefore able to advise the driver of the expiration date. The main auto gate is manned 24/7. If someone requests access at an unmanned auto gate, their photo and competencies are checked by the operator at the main auto gate and access is either granted or denied, saving on staff and running costs.

CIAL takes advantage of Gallagher’s reporting functionality by running automatic shift change reports. These reports print at set times of the day at shift change, to provide the new shift with a variety of information relating to the previous eight hours of site activity.

“We found the Gallagher product was the best value for money and the best support structure for our site. In-house capability was a feature that set it apart from other systems"

Tim Morris says the system has also assisted in increasing in-house knowledge and driven down the annual costs associated to access control. “The system performs extremely well with no significant outages to date,” he says. “Our expectations were met overnight.

It is easy to use, modern, innovative and flexible with high quality installations and we have an excellent channel partner.”

CIAL intends to make a number of additional Gallagher installations to accompany its three-year terminal and aircraft apron expansion project. One significant application will be a Gallagher controlled swing gate area, where 14 doors will either automatically open or lock, to allow an aircraft to arrive as a domestic flight and depart as an international flight (or vice versa) without the need to move the aircraft. Tim says this installation means both the airport and airlines will save time and costs.

Tim also makes the most of the security system by attending Gallagher end user group forums. “User group meetings are very useful sessions. We have attended most Southern region and National user group meetings since being involved with Gallagher products. These are a great opportunity to learn about new innovations and products due to be released, as well as talking with fellow users and swapping ideas and sharing issues.”

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