Milan - Bergamo Airport: new advanced control rooms

In the case studies developed by Sistemi Integrati, when we are allowed to access airport environments to describe the development of prestigious projects, it is always a unique occasion. In this case, we find ourselves in one of the busiest airports in Italy, the Milan - Bergamo airport, the third national airport for passenger traffic after the two hubs of Fiumicino and Malpensa, with a movement of almost 14 million people a year, connected with 131 destinations in 39 countries. It is one of the airports that has always focused on service efficiency to such an extent that in the surveys carried out by ACI World, the world association of airports, it has recorded a gradual increase in the already high levels of appreciation for the quality of services and of the spaces, being attributed an overall degree of satisfaction of 4.5 (out of a maximum of 5) against a world average value of 4.3 and a European and Italian average value of 4.1.

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Over the years, the airport has equipped itself with the service infrastructures and technical and operational capabilities to fulfill the strategic function of a link between the territory and the national and European mobility guidelines, which in turn are connected to the rest of the world. And the new Airport Development Plan for the year 2030 provides for investments of 450 million.

At a glance, security personnel can monitor all sensitive areas of the airport

Security Control Room, strategic and indispensable: a must for an airport

In such an important context, the component linked to video surveillance and security is one of the main elements to take into consideration and, in this sense, there are environments that play a fundamental role within an airport. SACBO, the Bergamo-Orio al Serio Civil Airport company that manages the airport, is well aware of this and has recently decided to give space to the design of the new technological systems of two Daniel Battistello, Project Manager Sangio Sound crucial rooms of this airport: the Control Room of Security and the Operations Room of the State Police. A project that we retraced together with Simone Lecchi, a professional who has been working for 15 years in Information Systems, Special Systems IT Assistance Unit and SACBO Data Network, and Daniel Battistello, Project Manager of Sangio Sound, a system integrator who has been designing and building systems since 1984 technologically advanced and personalized corporate, congress, educational, entertainment or residential nature. «A must for an airport of this size is undoubtedly safety – Simone Lecchi immediately tells us. After so many years, we have decided to equip ourselves with new technological tools, to make the control and monitoring processes of everything that gravitates around the airport area even more efficient. In these cases, the Security Control Room turns out to be not only one of the indispensable elements, but also a strategic tool in activities of this type».

In the airport security systems, nothing can be left to chance and all systems have been designed to return maximum security to the airport"

Simone Lecchi
Simone Lecchi

Information Systems, IT Assistance Unit for Special Systems and Data Networks, SACBO

Future proof design, access control and passenger flow monitoring: over 700 cameras operational

«In the total calculation of the security systems of the Milan-Bergamo airport - continues Simone Lecchi - nothing can be left to chance and all the systems are designed to generate a mix of information useful for the security of the airport: we are talking about access control, monitoring of passenger flows in the airport, emergency exit inspection systems, anti-intrusion radar system for perimeter control, etc. Overall, the video surveillance system includes over 700 Full HD cameras distributed throughout the terminal area and some PTZs installed on the aircraft aprons to view details during departure and arrival. It was therefore necessary to conceive a new control room, where to bring together the information coming from each plant, which was structured in a redundant way and which presented systems that were certainly articulated, but simple to use. Redundancy and continuity are two fundamental aspects required in the design phase; safety cannot ignore these two characteristics». The configurations of the Security Control Room and the Operations Room of the State Police are future proof, therefore allowing the system to be expanded significantly in the years to come. Always with a view to emergency intervention, it is possible to connect remotely to the devices in the room to deal with any problem. The immediacy of intervention is a characteristic that Simone Lecchi likes to deepen: «Already in the drafting phase of the tender we have foreseen the item linked to ordinary and extraordinary maintenance, with the availability of technicians 24x7, all year round, and timely interventions in case of need. Even if everything can be controlled online, with intervention times literally reduced, we have activated telephone contacts dedicated exclusively to this service». But let’s take a closer look at how the room operates and let’s dwell on the description of the device that represents the heart of the design: the DEXON DVP400 matrix.

State Police Operations Room, 5x2 video wall. Some of the monitors in the room can be used to start videoconferences or see current news in real time

Interchangeable rooms in terms of technological equipment: both systems redundant

The Security Control Room and the Operations Room of the State Police have been designed to work autonomously. The design predisposition of the two rooms, however, is identical and this gives a sort of double redundancy to the system, as Simone Lecchi explains: «Given the good design of the system installed in the Security Control Room, we opted to create a sort of system configured in a similar way also for the Operations Room of the State Police. As it is easy to imagine, the reason is twofold: on the one hand, a valid and highly operational design has been replicated, on the other, the use of the same devices in a second room allows any eventuality to be dealt with in a certain and rapid manner. In extreme emergency circumstances, in the event of a breakdown of one or more machines, it is possible to use the devices in the other room. Specifically, we are referring to the DEXON DVP400 video processors which constantly communicate with the video walls in the rooms and allow for the correct sorting of signals from all the security systems. In essence: in cases of emergency, the Control Room and the Operations Room of the State Police are interchangeable. The Control Room features a 6x2 video wall, designed in a multimedia way, interchangeable, modifiable according to the event, the condition, the day and the operating situation. In addition, just to avoid any interruption of service, we have decided in advance to also stock up on some spare parts in case of any breakdown. And the beauty of these DEXON video processors is the possibility of hot swapping the cards, therefore they represent the ideal solution to be inserted in delicate environments such as these, moreover with a truly favorable quality-price. Everything must work flawlessly, without any hitches – concludes Simone Lecchi. Today, if an alarm is triggered, the system tends to open a pop-up linked to the reference camera and display the recording a few seconds before the live event, allowing the security guard to understand the situation and intervene».

Control Room diagram

All security systems on monitors, with 4K images

«After several active collaborations, the relationship with SACBO is consolidated today - says Daniel Battistello of Sangio Sound for his part. The airport has a constantly Security Control Room. One of the advantages of the installed system is given by the possibility of creating, with the aid of any connected PC, different layouts, to be recalled at will. It is also possible to schedule layouts in a loop, to be managed as a sort of playlist of video windows. evolving structure, with annual investments that include the provision of advanced technology, as in the case of the design of the two control rooms. Once the briefings with SACBO were completed and all the operational needs were taken note of, we created a highly functional project that was easy to manage at the same time. The room was set up with several video walls for total control, together with audio speakers for alarms. In addition to the video cameras, the system cross-references the information also coming from a radar system, which works to cover the entire airport: on the monitor, the security officer sees a satellite image on which the information from the radar system is superimposed. The indication is made with extreme precision, in the sense that when an object is reported, the system is also able to specify its nature: aircraft, car, bus, person, animal, etc. The main video terminal of the control room is a 6x2 video wall, set up with signals grouped in 2x2 modules, which allows splitting the 4K signal on 4 monitors. An operation that allows you to do a pixel by pixel on the entire surface of the video wall and achieve the maximum obtainable quality, with the images defined everywhere».

Security Control Room

System with KVM over IP access technology: immediate intervention with the aid of any PC

«Everything goes through the DEXON DVP 400 processor, crucial in this system - explains Battistello. In addition to connecting all the signals coming from the various systems, it allows us to operate in total freedom from a graphic point of view on the video walls and place the control windows as we please. In addition, we have opted for KVM over IP access technology which allows the operator, without any software installed, to intervene with a simple combination of keys using his own PC and immediately take control of the situation. There are two processors in each room and each has a dual network card and redundant power supply.

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If a video fault situation emerges on the input of a machine in use, the system automatically switches from the device in use to the backup one. The changeover time is almost instantaneous, the operator does not even realize it, except thanks to a pop-up that appears on the touchscreen which detects the presence of an anomaly in the main machine. At this point, we are contacted to resolve the issue. For the airport, in fact, we guarantee a 24-hour support service, 365 days a year. Being the Security Control Room of one of the busiest airports in Italy, those responsible must avoid the possibility of a blockade. Therefore: redundant service, dedicated mobile number and emergency assistance at any time, day or night. Not only that, we have the advantage of operating in offices that are only a few km away from the airport, so in a few minutes we are operational on site in case of need. A condition that represents a notable advantage for our company as well as for the airport itself».

„The system configuration is future proof, always ready to meet the needs of an airport that has a constantly evolving structure"

Daniel Battistello
Daniel Battistello

Project Manager Sangio Sound

Installation procedures and timing

In conclusion, Daniel Battistello explains which steps led to the delivery of the project: «Usually, once the order has been acquired, we prepare a layout of the room for the customer showing the positioning of all the objects and we attach an example cable table for the electricians. In this case, once the cables were prepared according to our instructions, the time taken for the preparation and wiring of all the devices was one week. A further week was dedicated to planning and configuring the various layouts, also in the presence of SACBO professionals».

The device that connects and manages the signals of all video surveillance and airport security systems is the DEXON DVP400 video processor.

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