Future Fibre Technologies (FFT), a world leader in the development, manufacture and installation of fibre-optic intrusion detection systems, is providing affordable and high-quality perimeter security solutions to airports across the world.

Airport security has long been a concern, particularly since 9/11 in 2001. While security has visibly increased in the areas of passenger and baggage screening, perimeter security is still being enhanced by airports across the world. However, it is often difficult for airports to implement effective perimeter security measures due to cost. Airport perimeters are typically miles long, making it difficult and costly to effectively monitor all areas at once.

According to the Airline Pilots Security Alliance (APSA): “Terrorists will attempt to enter the air transportation system at the weakest point. The smallest, least secure airports are sometimes protected by a fence only 6ft high, with no barbed wire on top. Even larger airports face significant perimeter security challenges simply due to the size of the perimeter. An average perimeter at a mid-size US airport is 15 miles long.”

The APSA uses the example of a post-9/11 incident at La Guardia airport in New York, at which “a group of lost boaters ran aground on [a] secure area, even though they were not only not trying to hide, but actually trying to find help, they wandered the secure grounds of this major US airport, near runways and taxiways, for hours”.

Alec Owen, international client manager at Future Fibre Technologies, said his company “understands that perimeter security of airports can be costly. However, given incidents of perimeter security breaches such as this, it is worthy of investment and FFT provides some highly cost-effective solutions”.

He said: “FFT’s Secure Fence™ and Secure Zone™ systems offer a particularly low ongoing total cost of ownership due to them requiring no electronics or power in the field.”

FFT’s recently launched Secure Zone, which is a mid-range derivative of Secure Fence, 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.

They are also totally immune to the high levels of RFI and EMI found at some airport locations. As both systems are totally optical and have no power or electrical signals on the fence line, they present no possible source of interference to sensitive radio and radar equipment or automatic landing systems. A number of these systems have been installed and are operational in European and US airports.

Secure Fence and Secure Zone are fence-mounted fibre-optic detection systems that employ 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 nuisance alarms.

Both Secure Fence and Secure Zone can interface and activate CCTV systems, lighting, gates and email, plus a broad range of external devices and systems, making them highly effective and easy-to-use perimeter security solutions that are able to monitor large areas at once and instigate a timely response when a security breach occurs.