$1m tech push for airport security

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Sats Security officers will have body cameras and wearable devices

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

They will carry wearable mobile devices to keep track of 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 replace manual processes for the tracking of security activities before a flight, aircraft surveillance and flight tracking, said Sats.

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

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.

Mr Marie also 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 the 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 three to five years ago, there are now about 180 self-service check-in kiosks across all four terminals. More than 15 airlines have adopted Changi's Fast and Seamless Travel initiatives.

They cover self check-in, bag-tagging and boarding.