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Airport upgrades security cameras, perimeter fence gates

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Rapid City Regional Airport

Rapid City Regional Airport has upgraded several cameras throughout the airfield and terminal building bringing a better view for airport operations to monitor security.

Airport Operations Director Chris Deitz said Tuesday that once the project is complete, there will be approximately 40 new cameras at the airport, with 10 others set aside as spares.

"A lot of the old cameras were low megapixel, not very wide-view and were approximately 10 years old. They were failing and no longer serviceable," Deitz said.

The new cameras include technologies that allow for dome-type observation, multi-view angles and the ability to pan, tilt and zoom.

"We are just trying to get a better capture of the airport as a whole," Deitz said. "It's a wider, better view and we actually had a decrease in licenses. For every camera we have to have a license that we pay for on an annual basis."

The wider camera angles allow for more views but fewer cameras, he said, which allowed the airport to eliminate 20 licensing fees. The advanced cameras also allow for better views of the airfield.

"There was kind of a lack on the airfield before. We actually increased the amount of cameras out there," Deitz said.

Additional security investments have been made for the gates along the airport's perimeter fence for the card readers that allow the gates to open.

Deitz said the card reader poles have been strengthened with bollards to help prevent damage to the poles. The airport also added card readers on the air-side of the perimeter fence and added a new access gate.

"Used to, we only had card readers on the land side. When you came into the airport, you would use your badge. When you leave the airport, you were just free to go," Deitz said. "That caused some problems for us. People just really go and if a gate sticks open, we had no way of knowing who left that gate open. Now, we'll have better accountability of who's going where."

Deitz said the improvements to the perimeter fence gates were needed to comply with security guidelines from the Transportation Security Administration.

Contact Nathan Thompson at nathan.thompson@rapidcityjournal.com.

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