Protecting the airport in the city that never sleeps
New York, a city that has as many nicknames as it has tourist attractions, is one of the most popular destinations on the planet, and its airports some of the world’s busiest. Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is no exception.
In 2017, Terminal 4 handled more than 21 million passengers – the equivalent of the population of Florida – and the terminal has big ambitions to continue growing its annual passenger capacity. This is an impressive objective in today’s unpredictable, high-stakes security climate.
Despite the very real threat of both physical and cyber-attacks at airports, passengers often find security procedures arduous. This creates a major challenge for airport management, which has to balance security procedures with passenger convenience, and current capabilities with long-term growth expectations.
When managers at JFK’s Terminal 4 faced this decisive moment, they turned to Thales for its expertise as a global provider of airport security solutions.
“We were pleased to partner with Thales to further improve Terminal 4’s security operations,” said Gert-Jan de Graaff, former CEO of JFKIAT, the company which operates Terminal 4.
Thanks to its best-in-class services – including security operations – Terminal 4 has become a benchmark for other airports. For Thales, the opportunity to support Terminal 4’s extensive modernization project to enhance the situational awareness of security operations was an important and high-priority project – but it was not without challenges.
“Providing a secure and hassle-free airport experience is no small feat in a world that is increasingly fast moving and unpredictable,” explains Alan Pellegrini, CEO of Thales USA.
In addition to the challenge of modernizing and combining old and new systems into a new Security Operations Center (SOC), JFK’s Terminal 4 was the first time Thales would provide its security solution for an airport in the U.S. By thinking innovatively and working alongside Terminal 4 security personnel, Thales was able to successfully deploy its advanced SOC technology.
“This new Security Operations Center will prove to be an integral component in keeping passengers and employees at Terminal 4 safe and secure. The system will grow with the terminal, as it was designed to allow for expansion both inside Terminal 4 and to strategically connect stakeholders outside the terminal facility,” explained Gert-Jan de Graaff, former CEO of JFKIAT, the company which operates Terminal 4.
The new SOC at Terminal 4, launched in May 2018, promotes efficiency, effectiveness and situational awareness for security personnel, while significantly improving real-time management capabilities. Integrated security controls consolidate all security management and operational tools, providing system operators with a complete security picture for a more timely and accurate response by security personnel and law enforcement.
Pellegrini further adds that, “airport security is an important issue, and with the capabilities of this new SOC, Terminal 4 can rely on Thales to help provide first class security operations.”
In today’s security climate, a more secure airport environment is imperative, and the results for Terminal 4 are clear: significant improvements in operations and the passenger experience, due to a more proactive security approach and technology that is scalable for long-term growth.