Locating Lost Children in Airports

NCLB-906279-editedAirports are large, complex facilities, growing ever more complex as air travel becomes more and more a part of everyday life. With multiple terminals, complex layouts, front- and back-of-house areas, varying levels of security, and large crowds, airports require complex signage to ensure that even adults don’t get lost. However, should a young child be separated from their parents, signage may not help them find their way back.

Should a child get separated from their family in an airport, there are a plethora of places they may find their way into that may make them difficult to find, put them in hazardous situations, or both. Locating the child is, obviously, of paramount importance to the frightened parent, and the child may not be old enough to reasonably find their way to airport staff and help them find their family. In these situations, security may need to step in to help find a lost child and reunite them with their family efficiently, before any problems arise and on time for their flight.

AdobeStock_70330755However, airports are some of the highest security facilities there are. Security personnel are constantly on the lookout for possible threats from terrorism to disgruntled employees that may cause problems for flights or the large crowds waiting to get on those flights. Security personnel need to be able to efficiently locate lost children and reunite them with their families without diverting significant resources away from protecting everyone else within the airport and ensuring the safety of flights as they depart and arrive.

Video management systems (VMS), such as VideoXpert Pro integrated with intelligent video analytics like IBM’s IVA analytics system, can help to quickly locate lost children and aid security officers in reconnecting them with their families. Analytics in place on a VMS can scan thousands of people in seconds, using predetermined search criteria to search faster and more accurately than a human operator possibly could. This search criteria can include height, hair color, shirt color, other clothing worn, gender, and others to ensure that searches are accurate. Notifications can then be sent to security operators on the ground to update them with accurate information, ensuring searches are efficient and accurate.

FreeWhitepaperBy strategically mounting cameras integrated with facial recognition, such as Pelco’s Sarix IP cameras, at choke points within the airport, security officers can easily scan through thousands of faces of travelers and employees to find a lost child, and with multi-sensor panoramic cameras such as Pelco’s Optera series, much more surveillance coverage is provided, allowing operators a better view of the entirety of the facility. Cameras are also on the market, including Sarix Thermal IP cameras, that provide coverage even in total darkness, giving security complete surveillance coverage in areas where natural and artificial light may not reach.

IVA analytics can also be leveraged to detect lost children entering hazardous areas before they’re even reported by setting alarms to be triggered when a perimeter or barrier is breached without authorization, when movement is detected in the opposite direction of traffic, or when doors are opened with force, in addition to leveraging facial recognition and crowd pattern detection to monitor visitors and employees moving throughout the facility. The use of this analytics software can even allow for unmanned monitoring of some areas.

At Pelco, we’re working to develop security technology and partner with meaningful integrations that solve real problems for our customers.