Enhancing Airport Security with Key Control & Management Systems

Management of airport security operations often includes representation from multiple local, state and federal agencies and involves oversight of all areas of security ranging from issuance of uniforms to perimeter fencing to employee background security checks. Security solutions vary depending on the size and type of airport facility (i.e. private, regional, international, flight school, etc.) but one of the most common and effective strategies is the use of key control and management systems.

Automated key control and management systems can be used to hold keys needed for access to sensitive or sterile areas of an airport, including ramps, operational spaces and other SIDA (Security Identification Display Area) areas that are restricted from the general public. Authorized users who have permission to enter these restricted areas unescorted can access keys by entering their PIN code and/or biometric identification. If the criteria entered matches the information stored in the system data base, the key cabinet will unlock and the necessary key can be removed or returned. In large international airports, the key control systems may incorporate additional security features to help maintain the integrity of the system and provide enhanced security. For example, when an authorized user accesses a key, a numeric code can appear on the display and that code must be entered at secure doors when using the key.

With the use of key management software, the key control systemautomatically records all transactions, including user, date and time of checkout and return. At any time, airport security operations can view who currently has which keys out and for what area, or who has had keys out, for what areas and when. If any key is not returned to the key control cabinet as scheduled, e-mail alerts can be sent to airport security to enable quick action.

The use of key control and management systems in airport facilities is an important measure in ensuring the safety and protection of travelers, airport personnel and property.