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Muscat busy securing its future

Posted 23 April 2019 · Add Comment

Muscat’s revitalised airport is coping with the pressures of steadily mounting passenger numbers with a new-generation security system. Alan Dron reports.

Until recently, Muscat International Airport, serving the Omani capital, has been a source of complaint from airlines and passengers.
The original terminal building had become too small for the growing numbers of passengers passing through it.
Although its capacity was just 3.5 million, around 7 million people were using it annually. Rapidly-expanding national carrier, Oman Air, was becoming increasingly constrained by the building’s shortcomings and had made its feelings public on the matter.
The launch of a second terminal in March 2018 was, therefore, welcomed. And to match the new building’s modern facilities, a new integrated security system was also installed by European defence contractor, Thales.
Ensuring state-of-the-art technology for operations and security infrastructure was of great importance to Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communication, which is why it selected Thales, a key international player in security, to fulfil its big ambitions.
Thales, a major provider of integrated security and telecommunications solutions for critical infrastructures, has successfully met the demand for enhanced security at the new airport thanks to its role as master system integrator for the implementation of the integrated security management solutions.
The technologies provided by Thales focus on the airport operation control centres and include an advanced perimeter intrusion detection system.
This allows several types of sensors to be integrated into a single system, with information gathered via system-integrated acquisition modules or through connections with other sub-systems, giving the operators a single, collated view of the situation.
Thales is also providing a suite of other security-related systems, including video surveillance with video analytics, access control, passenger screening equipment, E-gates and security checkpoints, as well as a full airport IT suite. This manages airport operations, supported by an information broker to handle integration and communications between the various systems.
This security infrastructure is complemented by fully redundant data centres, including server farms and a storage area network, plus trunked radio systems and network security appliances to ensure high performance, reliability and quality of service.
Before installation, Thales put all the new systems at Muscat International Airport through 45 operational readiness tests. These involved more than 26,000 participants and, said the company, successfully met and surpassed all standards.
“We are delighted to have partnered with Muscat International Airport to meet the needs for integrated security and operations protocols at the new airport,” said Roger Daix, vice-president, Thales Middle East.
“Through our industry-leading solutions, we are ensuring efficient operations and the safety and security of the overall infrastructure as well as that of the passengers.”
Thales noted that the successful implementation of the security system at Muscat was the latest of several projects confirming its position as a leader in airport master system integration, airport security and operational solutions.
Among its previous projects in the MENA area covering high-profile, state-of-the-art critical infrastructure, are airports in Dubai and Qatar.
 

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