Boston’s Airport Tests New Security System


Officials at Boston’s Logan Int’l Airport, infamously linked to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have begun testing a new automatic threat-detection system. The pilot program, in its initial testing phase at Logan, provides an early warning system round the clock and in any weather condition.

Logan is the first major commercial airport in the nation to deploy the integrated software-based perimeter security system.

“This is truly new technology being applied for the first time for aviation security,” said Glenn McGonnigle during a demonstration of the system in Logan’s control tower.

The Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan, has been aggressively pursuing improved security since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The system uses thermal imaging cameras and software to identify abnormal movements or objects along the airport’s 6.5-mile beach perimeter. The software ignores normal movements, such as planes, birds or coyotes.

Terrorists emerging from the water or approaching the shore in a boat and intent on hijacking an airliner, for example, would automatically trigger an audio alarm when an established security zone is penetrated.

The alarm would not only alert personnel in the tower to the threat, but also state troopers equipped with hand-held wireless computers, allowing them to respond faster than previously.

In the case of Logan, security is provided by Massachusetts State Police, which has an anti-terrorism unit at the airport equipped with submachine guns.

Officials said it will be sometime this summer before it is decided whether to buy and install the system.

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