Airports and Raised Floors: Security Checkpoints

22 September 2020 Tate
Tate Airport Security Raised Floors

Airport technology and procedures are constantly evolving to improve the passenger travel experience. New technology is continually being implemented to improve the security of passengers, while also speeding up the process time through security and giving passengers more options to enjoy other amenities such as shopping, dining and entertainment while waiting for their flight. All these pieces come together to create a better travel experience, encouraging more people to take advantage of air travel. Until now, these ever-evolving facets of travel were expensive and time consuming for airports to implement, but with raised access floors it doesn’t have to be that way. In our last Airport and Raised Floors blog, we talked about the benefits of using raised access floors in the ticketing and check-in areas of an airport. In this part, we’re covering flexible floor systems at arguably one of the most important areas of an airport, security checkpoints.

Nowhere in an airport is flexibility more important than in the security check-point areas. Security demands are constantly changing due to new technology, processing methods and security protocols. The ability to rearrange existing equipment or install new technology as it becomes available, without major service disruptions, is incredibly important. With raised floors, security equipment can be connected and routed under the floor. As technology changes and outdated equipment becomes redundant, new equipment is added or existing equipment needs to be rearranged, the process is much simpler. By lifting the raised access floor panel, equipment cabling can be rerouted to accommodate the necessary changes. And as technology continues to evolve and new equipment is deployed, the process can be repeated as many times as needed without core-drilling directly into the structural slab. Most importantly, the raised floor panels make these changes much easier and faster, which reduces service disruption time and gets the security check point back up and running in just a short amount of time.

Another concern for airports may be the level of accessibility the raised floor provides. It’s important that the underfloor plenum is only accessed by approved airport personnel. Our assortment of floor systems offer varying levels of accessibility for different areas of the airport, whether that means a limited access service pathway or a fully accessible floor. Cavity floors are a great solution for areas of the airport where security is a higher concern because their tongue and groove design makes the majority of the underfloor plenum inaccessible, while strategically placed hatch panels allow authorized airport personnel to access the plenum as needed. In the security checkpoints of the airport, however, where cameras, trained personnel and other high-level security infrastructure is already in place, traditional raised access floors are suitable and provide the maximum amount of flexibility. Our STONEWORKS® panels are a great option and are available in a variety of color and surface texture options like classic concrete, decorative concrete, slate, granite and terrazzo, providing the advantages of the access floor without sacrificing style and aesthetics.

The Honolulu International Airport, which managed nearly 21 million passengers in 2018, understands the benefits of raised access floors and is currently installing our flooring in their security area to increase flexibility and to accommodate future changes to their facility. That flexibility and future proofing that comes from raised access floors makes it a perfect solution for airports. As technology changes and new security protocols are implemented, equipment and layout changes can be made quickly and easily with an access floor. But don’t just take our word for it. The Program for Applied Research in Airport Security states in their Companion Design Guide to US Customs and Border Protection’s Airport Technical Design Standard, “Provide a flooring system that can bear loads and have a gap wide enough to house fiber optic, electrical, or other cabling so that every square foot can facilitate placement of podiums or other elements. The flexible floor system must not only have space for cables, it must also be able to bear loads for placement of a podium or other equipment, and for passenger foot traffic. It helps to future-proof facilities so that the floor does not have to undergo construction each time a kiosk layout redesign, reconfiguration, or introduction of new technology takes place.” For more information on our airport solutions or the installation at the Honolulu International Airport, give us a call at 800-231-7788 or email us at info@tateinc.com.

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