Interview Spotlight: Peter Böhm, Airport Market Manager Europe, Siemens Building Technologies
Posted: 20 September 2016 | International Airport Review | No comments yet
Siemens Building Technologies is the trusted technology partner for energy-efficient, safe and secure buildings and infrastructure. Airport Market Manager Europe, Peter Böhm, discusses the challenges with airport security system implementation.
What challenges do airports face when it comes to implementing security and safety systems?
The security challenge is not only a technology, but very much an operation and staff issue. The ‘insider threat’ can only be reduced by a holistic approach. Therefore security and safety project implementations have to consider heterogeneous requirements which are not covered by product features and performance itself. Beside the technical and non functional product requirements, regulations, airport-processes, building or airport structure have a big impact on solution design and the integration and operation strategy. The most important challenge for an airport is to keep the total lifecycle costs as low as possible. This is mainly influenced by seamless integration to processes and environment.
How can Siemens Building Technologies’ portfolio help with this?
As well as building automation, Siemens Building Technologies’ portfolio covers all security and safety relevant elements for an airport. Our own products are supplemented by third party and partner products. Our Building Management systems DESIGO CC allows fast and reliable integration for all kind of building related systems. This gives the additional benefit to combine security information and controls with building automation. The Siemens Building Technologies organisation combines the advantages of a global airport organisation sharing and reuse knowledge and solutions, and the local organisations to grant fast and reliable project realisation and life time service. Comprehensive integration services ensure seamless and flexible integration to the individual environment and to airport processes.
Why is it important for airports to integrate their solutions?
Seamless integration of systems along the airport process landscape allows effective operation and reduces lifecycle costs. In terms of security, end-to-end and integrated solutions reduce the risk for ‘backdoors’ and insider threats. Seamless integrated systems reduce standard workload for staff and allow focusing on a customer or terminal operation process and upcoming threats.
When thinking of the ‘airports of tomorrow’, what key features need to be considered?
There is no dedicated technical key feature; the focus is on automated and well performing end-to-end processes. For example passenger or baggage screening solutions have to fulfil the security regulations but the goal for the airport is highest throughput by smallest footprint. Intelligent solution design is more important than the products itself. The most important topic is to improve security levels and to identify and close all backdoors to reduce insider threats. In addition security relevant decisions have to become as much as possible independent from persons.
How have Siemens Integrated Airports and Complete Airport Solutions packages been received in the industry to date?
Siemens Building Technologies’ Solutions have been in place all over the world for decades. Based on this experience Siemens provides, in addition to its strong system portfolio, innovative solutions successfully implemented on several airports. For example the Palm Vein Scan Biometric access control to prohibit backdoors at staff access points; an integrated perimeter solution combining ground radar with other technologies; and fully IT-integrated Boarding Passenger Guidance for secure and convenient control of the building infrastructure for an automated Boarding process in multipurpose gate environments.
How do you envisage the future of airport security and safety solutions now that seamless travel and passenger experience are so high up on airport agendas?
Based on our large portfolio and new leading edge technologies (e.g. face recognition), Siemens Building Technologies will support the airports of tomorrow with integrated solutions for adopting airport processes.
Peter Böhm began his career in software research and development for communication technology in the early 1980s. He was heavily involved in ICT airline and airport software developments and witnessed numerous social and technical challenges as the Head of international ICT research and development departments.
He became the Head of Siemens Building Technology Division in eastern Austria in 2009 with responsibility for fire safety and building and security solutions. From 2013, Peter was Vertical Market Manager Airport for Central and Eastern Europe, and for the whole European region from 2015.