$1m tech boost for security officers at airport

 Body cameras will provide a live feed to the control centre, ensuring better visibility of activities. The officers will also carry wearable mobile devices
Body cameras will provide a live feed to the control centre, ensuring better visibility of activities. The officers will also carry wearable mobile devicesPHOTO: SATS
A remote aircraft surveillance system allows each security officer to monitor up to five flights at one go via cameras that track on-board activities before take-off.
A remote aircraft surveillance system allows each security officer to monitor up to five flights at one go via cameras that track on-board activities before take-off.PHOTO: SATS
 As part of Sats’ digital push, virtual reality will be used to train officers in their responsiveness to various security situations.
As part of Sats’ digital push, virtual reality will be used to train officers in their responsiveness to various security situations.PHOTO: SATS

Body cameras and wearable mobile devices will ensure more visibility and speedy help

Security officers at Changi Airport will soon have cameras attached to their uniforms to provide a live feed to a control centre so that help can be dispatched quickly if needed.

They will also carry wearable mobile devices to keep track of their duties as well as submit and update reports, said Sats Security, which is spending more than $1 million on digital and technology initiatives to enhance operations at the airport.

Plans also include a revamp of the existing control centre at the airport, it said yesterday.

The enhancements will improve security and operational efficiency at the airport and help Sats better manage its resources amid a manpower crunch, said Mr Denis Marie, its executive vice-president (special projects).

Under the new system to be rolled out progressively, video surveillance and wearable mobile devices will be used to provide greater visibility of activities on the ground.

Digitalisation will also replace manual processes for the tracking of security activities before a flight, aircraft surveillance and flight tracking, said Sats.

For aircraft cleaning, for example, instead of having to manually record the name and other personal details of cleaners, the new system will allow the Sats officer to just scan the worker's pass, Mr Marie told The Straits Times.

  • 800 Number of security officers employed by Sats Security.

Resources can also be better managed, he said. "Flights don't always come on time, so instead of making our officers wait unnecessarily, we can deploy them based on real-time information."

The initiatives will also help to ensure a safe work environment for security officers on the ground, said Mr Marie.

"For example, when the body camera is tilted at a certain angle, it is assumed that the officer is down. This will trigger an alarm in the control room," he added.

Sats Security, which employs about 800 security officers, hopes that going digital will also make the work more attractive to younger job seekers.

 

Mr Marie said: "Security is no longer just about deploying people to do guard duty. With technology and data analytics, we not only make the job more attractive and sexy for young people, but we are also able to significantly enhance the level of security, while reducing manpower needs."

As Changi Airport continues to handle a growing number of passengers and flights, the push for automation and technology has intensified in the past few years.

From an almost 100 per cent manned system just three to five years ago, there are now about 180 self-service check-in kiosks and another 130 machines for travellers to deposit their self-tagged bags, across all four terminals.

More than 15 airlines have already adopted Changi's Fast and Seamless Travel initiatives.

They cover self check-in, bag-tagging and boarding, with participating airlines offering at least one or more of the three processes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2018, with the headline '$1m tech boost for security officers at airport'. Print Edition | Subscribe