Australia’s Major Airport Security Measures Questioned

Future Fibre Technologies Pty. Ltd. (FFT), a world leader in the development, manufacture and installation of fibre-optic intrusion detection systems, is working to solve the security problems at Australian airports with its fence mounted perimeter intrusion detection solutions. However, FFT is concerned that to date, progress has been slow on improving security of this critical aspect of airport security at many Australian airports and that this lack of progress is potentially compromising the overall safety of the aviation industry in Australia.

A major review of airport security was undertaken in 2005 when the Australian government commissioned the Wheeler Review into Aviation Security. The resulting Wheeler report made some 17 recommendations designed to improve security at Australian airports. Today, many of these recommendations remain un-actioned, leaving major Australian airports vulnerable to security breaches.

A recent article in The Australian newspaper reported “the federal department responsible for airport security has admitted that ASIO has failed to check physical security infrastructure – everything from locks and gates to security plans – at the major airports” (O’Brien, 4 April 2009, The Australian).

Alec Owen, international client manager at FFT, said his company understands that physical security of airports can be costly. “Airport perimeters can often be very long which can result in significant installation costs for many security systems,” he said. “However, FFT’s Secure Fence™ System offers a particularly low ongoing total cost of ownership due to it requiring no electronics or power in the field.”

FFT’s recently launched Secure Zone™ is a mid range derivative of Secure Fence, which is designed to fill a need in the market for a highly reliable yet cost-effective zone-based intrusion detection solution. Hence, FFT’s Secure Fence and Secure Zone systems are the perfect perimeter security solutions for major and regional airports.

FFT is an Australian quality endorsed company and all its products, including Secure Fence and the recently released Secure Zone systems, meet Australian standards.

Secure Fence and Secure Zone are fence-mounted fibre optic detection systems which use advanced intrusion detection technology to protect airport perimeters, without the penalty of nuisance alarms.

This technology, known as Alarm Recognition and Discrimination (ARaD) technology, is patented by the company and can detect a fence climb, cut or lift – even when they occur during natural events, such as torrential rain and high winds, thereby virtually eliminating the incidence of nuisance alarms.

Mr Owen said that he is hopeful that more security providers at airports will recognise the advantages of his company’s systems, so that safety standards improve in line with safety recommendations.

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