Video analytics keep Taiwan airport ground traffic safe

Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan is keeping passenger buses and other ground traffic safe from encroaching onto runways using video analytics controlled traffic signals.

A video surveillance system recently installed at Taoyuan International Airport presents a sophisticated method of preventing accidents involving ground vehicles at airports across the globe.

Taiwan’s Taoyuan Airport is one of the world’s busiest in terms of international passenger numbers as well as international freight traffic.  As airport traffic increased, it became clear to the Airport Authority that action had to be taken to avoid a potential accident occurring where aircraft and vehicles were sharing one passageway.

With structural limitations and narrow scope for erecting warning signs, the Airport Authority turned to the latest video surveillance technology to provide an effective way of ensuring that employees and passengers lives are not put at risk.

The Runway Safe Passage video surveillance system was designed to create an alert for drivers of passenger buses, luggage transport and supply vehicles if they are in danger of entering a runaway crossing point when an aeroplane is taking off or has just landed.

The system takes advantage of VCA’s video analytics engine to accurately detect the presence of an aeroplane and trigger traffic lights to flash red to warn drivers of the immediate danger.  And reflecting the importance of the system, if the drivers do not follow the guide of the traffic lights, they will be fined.

A spokesman for installer, AGNI Systems said: “It is a common airport problem that aeroplanes and vehicles can be ‘fighting’ over one passageway and this can easily cause an accident. At Taouyuan, the additional issue is due to strict regulations and construction limitations, the additional hardware required to solve the problem would have required a re-arrangement of flights, which was understandably deemed unacceptable by the Airport Authority.”

The spokesman continued, “The decision was made to explore the option of video analysis interlocked through camera images and we immediately turned to our partner, VCA to provide a system whereby objects on the runway could be seen through cameras.  As aeroplanes have priority on the passageway, if one is landing or passing through, the traffic lights are instantly controlled on the roadway and flash to red to warn drivers to stop, avoiding any accidents. The system has also been calibrated against different scenarios to minimise the number of false alarms.”

Working with the latest thermal imaging technology to minimise false alarms and enable the system to work effectively without rest regardless of the lighting conditions, VCA’s video analytics have been configured to ignore aeroplanes that are in the air.

Commenting on the installation of the video analytics system in Taiwan, VCA’s Kevin Waterhouse said, “Airports across the world are getting busier with both freight and passenger traffic and whilst we are all aware of the need for accurate air traffic control, it appears that ground traffic control is becoming more critical. Drivers of course are fully aware of the risk of an accident but there is always the possibility of a break in concentration and particularly so at the end of a shift when they may be tired. The Runway Safe Passage System created for Taoyuan International Airport, which can be set up to generate reports of persistent problems at specific zones throughout the airport, has proven to be a safety measure that could potentially save lives.”

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