Video Surveillance & Physical Security Industry Viewpoints
November 1st, 2021
Author: Lizzi Goldmeier

How Airport Property Managers Can Gain Intelligence from Existing Video Surveillance Systems

Long travel queues and wait times can be frustrating for even the most seasoned travelers. Whether embarking on a trip of a lifetime, or a routine business trip, travelers are increasingly expecting a streamlined experience. But what can Airport Property Managers do to make their experience an optimal one? Video analytics and intelligence is the key to providing real-time information and data to aid Airport Property Managers in making key decisions that impact a traveler’s experience.

Optimizing Traffic and Crowd Control

A traveler’s experience begins when they enter the airport. Ideally, they would enter the airport at the entrance closest to the airline they are flying and where they need to check-in. But what if there are multiple entrances, and not enough directional signage? That creates a poor and confusing experience. Airport Property Managers can use video data to analyze the airport’s entrances and exits to see if some are more efficient than others and why that may be. For example, a manager discovers that the far-left entrance is used most frequently, although it is further from the other two. With this information, the manager can now conduct an audit of the area and discover why that may be the case. In this example, the far-left entrance is clearly marked with airline names while the middle and far right are labeled as “Arrivals.” In this case, better signage would alleviate the situation and help direct passengers into all entrances. Maybe more staff outside providing assistance and directing travelers where to go would also help. Analyzing video intelligence can help Airport Property Managers determine the cause and ultimately identify a solution.

Additionally, video analytics has the ability to track the number of people that pass through any given area of the airport, at any time. This information can help Airport Property Managers make decisions to reduce crowding and bottlenecks. In analyzing the video, managers can recognize trends in crowding and bottlenecks. Are there certain times of day where bottlenecks occur? Let’s say a manager used video data to recognize that school vacation weeks lead to increases in bottlenecks. This may be because more families are traveling than usual and they may need more time to get through security checkpoints and gather their belongings, or maybe they are not frequent travelers and therefore unfamiliar with the airport. The manager could then ensure the airport is staffed appropriately to account for these factors and therefore keep the disruption to all travelers at a minimum and increase efficiency.

Video data is a powerful tool for uncovering trends over time, but it can also help managers alleviate situations in real-time and prevent them from getting worse. By configuring rule-based real-time alerts, managers can be notified when an area is becoming crowded or security lines are extended past a certain point and can therefore quickly deploy more staff to remedy the situation.

Streamlining Security Checkpoints

No matter how big or small an airport is, going through a security checkpoint is a guarantee. This is also a spot likely to cause bottlenecks. Video analytics is effective when it comes to airport security. Not only can video analysis tools help identify security incidents like suspicious behavior but can also provide insight on how to make security lines as efficient as possible.

Security checkpoint video data can help Airport Property Managers to understand whether lines are moving at the same pace, and if not, whether the speed of the lines are impacted by the staff on duty. If slow lines are the result of the staff, the managers can introduce new training or protocols to help increase efficiency. If it is clear that staffing is not the issue, managers can use the video data to examine the operational process and determine how that might be improved to increase efficiency and decrease bottlenecks.

Video data can also highlight if travelers are being directed to lines proportionately. If travelers are not being directed proportionately, this could be a quick win for managers in terms of increasing efficiency as proportionate lines will result in quicker wait times.

Increase Efficiency by Optimizing Airport Layouts

The layout of an airport can go a long way toward an efficient and positive travel experience. Video analytics software can output heatmaps of high-traffic areas, which is information Airport Property Managers can use to make decisions on where services, amenities and retail stores should be located. For example, the heatmap shows a high volume of people around the restrooms on one side of the terminal, and a very low volume of people at the restrooms on the other side. This could tell a manager that more signage is needed to inform travelers that there are multiple restrooms, or perhaps consider installing another restroom when the terminal undergoes a renovation.

Not only can heatmaps and video analytics tell managers where travelers are, it can tell them how long they are there. Are travelers spending a particularly long time waiting for a shuttle to the parking garage? Video data can analyze the average time a traveler spends in line and therefore help the manager optimize the shuttle service by increasing the frequency or amount of shuttles running during certain times of the day.


Video data and intelligence can take the guesswork out of driving efficiency. Without powerful data and insights that video analysis can provide, Airport Property Managers are left to either find solutions through trial and error or spend valuable time and resources by conducting audits and assessments. By utilizing a video analytics platform, managers can put efficiency at the forefront of their management strategies.