Transportation: John F. Kennedy International Airport

Each month, the John F. Kennedy International Airport processes more than 5.1 million passengers

Each month, the John F. Kennedy International Airport processes more than 5.1 million passengers from over 39,000 f, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Located in New York City, JFK airport serves as a gateway to the U.S. for many global travelers. For the facility, a key aspect of security is ensuring that dangerous people and substances do not enter the country.

Often facing limited staff and a near constant barrage of travelers, JFK immigration officials needed enhanced security technology to aid in their fight against illegal trafficking and to provide forensic evidence in criminal investigations.

NEED

The JFK International terminal one had originally been outfitted with a video surveillance system paired with audio capture devices. High levels of background noise proved to be an obstacle for the microphones in place, rendering playback all but useless to immigration and security offers. In holding areas, officers had relied on internal microphones from IP cameras. These on-board mics were unable to provide high-quality audio, instead capturing excessive sound from the surrounding area.

Thanks to Louroe’s longstanding relationship with U.S. government and law enforcement agencies, when the time came to upgrade security products, Louroe’s technology was not only selected, but also mandated.

To troubleshoot system performance challenges, Louroe and systems integrator American Integrated Security Group (AISG) provided a full on-site evaluation, determining the issues to be linked to the type of microphone used and where it had been deployed. Additionally, the Louroe team worked with immigration officials to implement new audio solutions to enhance overall security.

SOLUTION

To improve situational awareness in the international terminal, a new audio system was specially designed and deployed, utilizing over 100 Verifact® microphones. The new solution allowed for audio capture capabilities at each step of the immigrant and customs process, from the initial checkpoint to interview rooms and secondary screening areas.

Louroe’s Verifact® L-DT microphones were placed at all 32 passport- check podiums to monitor traveler-agent interactions. Designed as a bi-directional microphone that adheres to tabletops or counters, the L- DT picks up sound from both officers and passengers while simultaneously minimizing ambient noise. For those detained by agents for additional questioning and asked to stand in a designated waiting area, the omni-directional Verifact® B-6 microphone was deployed. The B-6 can be mounted on high ceilings, while the microphone element hangs down to capture sounds from several feet below.

To ensure that all audio is captured during bag check screenings and searches, additional LD-T and B-6 microphones were mounted to pick up all sound during this stage of the customs process. The audio captured from both microphones is combined via Louroe’s RN-2 audio mixer, giving security personnel a more holistic overview of the covered area.

For travelers who warrant additional screening, officers need audio equipment in interview rooms, booking areas, and holding cells. In these applications, the Verifact® A was simply mounted on walls and ceilings in each interview room or cell, and strategically placed above booking areas. The Verifact® A is Louroe’s signature omnidirectional microphone, with the ability to capture sound within a 15-foot radius.

RESULTS

High-quality audio is a must for airport deployments, improving situational awareness and allowing immigration officers to better assess individuals. Officers often use surveillance footage to look for both visual and verbal cues that may indicate suspicious behavior. In this regard, audio has proven invaluable.

Additionally, Louroe’s solutions not only produce exceptional sound for the application, but they also provide a cost-savings. Louroe’s microphones are capable of plugging directly into surveillance cameras, allowing for simpler installations.

Legacy equipment often requires each camera or microphone to have its own source of power. For airport deployments, running a cable through heavily trafficked areas to a switchboard location is nearly impossible. By deploying Louroe’s IF-PX solution, which powers audio and video equipment through a single CAT5 cable, AISG was able to bypass the issue.