The client, a major commercial airline based in Seattle, has approximately 15,000 employees, operates over 800 flights daily, and is the largest departure and arrival airline operating at SeaTac International Airport.


Deplaning areas at SeaTac International airport consist of an exterior door which is access controlled, alarmed, and monitored by the Port of Seattle (POS). During the deplaning process, a gate agent must disarm the alarmed doors to allow for passengers to enter the terminal. The process had the airline arming and disarming the doors several times throughout the day, while simultaneously staffing the podiums. The financial burden was approximately $16,000 per month to have a dedicated agent monitor the doors during the operational hours of 4:00 AM to midnight.


Convergint identified that the TSA was using wrong-way tripline analytics. After careful evaluation with a test camera at SeaTac Airport, the camera analytics could not recognize the collision of near-passing of subjects. Convergint then identified the appropriate solution would not be a camera analytic based on pixel movement, but rather a thermal image. Convergint identified a company called IEE, which creates 3D modulated light intensity sensor technology that would provide overhead 3D thermal mapping. The sensor would be able to detect people moving in the wrong direction during the deplaning process and was capable of bi-directional counting. Convergint leveraged the Lenel access control system to receive a signal from the IEE device when activity was detected. Lenel pushed a signal to an audible and visual alarm device to notify nearby gate agents. Once the activity is verified, the use of a wireless Inovonics device resets the alarm. There is also a manual on/off key mechanism that is utilized. The airline’s process outlines that the night shift supervisor disables the detection sensor and arms the POS doors after the last flight has deplaned, typically around midnight. The following morning shift supervisor would arm the system prior to the first flight deplaning, typically around 4:00 AM.

Finally, in order to ensure the system is functioning, the Lenel system is programmed to send an email to the airline in the event of power loss. The controller is network-based, and loss of network connectivity will not affect the system locally. In the case of a power fail utilizing battery backup, Lenel will send an email to several of the airline’s personnel to initiate a service call to Convergint.

Thermal mapping diagram example

During the installation of this system, Convergint recognized that placing cameras behind each ticket counter could also provide additional coverage of the restricted area. Because of this, the airline included the installation of new cameras behind each agent counter. A power light located above the key switch ensures that the agent knows the system is armed.


The airline relies on iCare to dispatch a high-priority technician. If the 120V power is cut to the Lenel controller, there is roughly 3-4 hours of runtime before the system will turn off. A timely repair is mission-critical, and iCare facilitates that. The customer was able to utilize iCare to track all phases of the solution deployment in real time.


The solution has achieved $16,000 per month in savings with an ROI of eight months. The airline has been able to utilize these agents in other activities, increasing overall productivity and efficiency, and is now looking at this solution for several terminal rebalancing projects. Convergint needed a 100% success rate in capturing someone walking in the wrong direction towards the disarmed exterior doors, and this was achieved. Since the final installation on November 10, 2015, there have been zero false alarms. The airline has recognized the benefit of their relationship with Convergint as an integrator of highly complex and effective solutions.

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