Changi's security stays trim with tech

Changi's security stays trim with tech

SINGAPORE - Since 2008, passenger traffic at Changi Airport has jumped by more than 35 per cent. Yet in these close to six years, there has been no increase in the number of security officers doing traveller, bag and other checks.

This has not been at the expense of security, said Mr Martin Baptist, who heads Certis Cisco's integrated operations centre, but achieved through the use of manpower-saving technology, from cameras to thermal sensors.

The firm, which bagged Changi Airport's security contract in 2008, recently had its tenure extended for another five years until March 2018.

Mr Baptist, who gave The Straits Times a rare peek into the firm's operations centre at its Paya Lebar headquarters earlier this week, said: "In 2008, when we took over the Changi contract, we had about 2,300 officers on the ground.

"It's the same number today."

To keep a 24/7 watch on the airport, banks, MRT stations and other premises the firm monitors, Cisco Certis has invested close to $7 million in its two operations centres - one at Paya Lebar and the other at Changi Airport.

In the three years up to March, close to 35,000 cameras have been installed islandwide.

Such cameras help a team of 18 staff keep close watch on 800 officers deployed on the ground at Changi Airport at any one time, said Mr Baptist.

The system is linked to the airport's flight database so officers are deployed "real time" as and when needed instead of "sitting around" and waiting for flights to depart and land, he said.

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