Newfoundland & Labrador based commercial service provider Cougar Helicopters doesn't take safety and security lightly. Operating a helicopter service in the midst of some of the world's most challenging weather has developed several strengths in Cougar Helicopters. Proactive safety, flexibility and innovation have become watchwords for Cougar's highly experienced team of flight crew, aircraft maintenance engineers, rescue specialists and support staff. These strengths have come into play in support of Canada's first offshore oil production and in pioneering new methods and equipment for marine search and rescue (SAR).
Cougar's notable construction projects include a corporate headquarters with a 37,000 square-foot passenger handling facility and hangar at St. John's International Airport, a 28,000 square-foot heliport in Halifax for oil and gas operations, and a 27,000 square-foot built-for-purpose Search & Rescue (SAR) facility also located at St. John's.
Beyond ensuring in-flight safety, Cougar needed to ensure security for its new facility in Halifax and its SAR facility in St. John's while ensuring complete network capability with its headquarters. Cougar's facilities also needed to follow Transport Canada Aviation Regulations, which details security requirements for airports frequented by the general public.
As Cougar embarked on building its new terminal in
Halifax, company officials knew they had to take a topnotch approach with their security. The facility would house a helicopter hangar and a passenger screening and boarding area within a single structure, as well as a pilot lounge and an office for Cougar Helicopters' employees.
Paramount to the newly constructed terminal in Halifax and the SAR facility in St. John's was the requirement to network the location with the corporate headquarters' Operational Control Center (OCC), which dispatches and follows all of Cougar's aircraft throughout the world and provides oversight for all of its security operations.
Cougar Helicopters relied on the expertise of systems integrator Northeastern Protection Service Inc., in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and started working with the integrator during the blueprint stage of the project.
"Starting from scratch gave us the flexibility to efficiently implement the different security systems we needed," said Richard Dawe, Information Systems Manager for Cougar Helicopters. "The design of the system wasn't inhibited by drywall being up or ceilings being intact. And, we weren't tearing out walls and moving doors."
Roger Miller, Vice President of Operations for
Northeastern Protection, and Bryan Robinson, Technical Services Manager, for Northeastern Protection, worked closely with Cougar Helicopters to
design and install the security system at both its new Halifax location and the SAR building.
ntegration was critical to this project," said Miller. "Cougar Helicopters wanted to manage their access control, surveillance and security system through a single interface."
To accomplish a truly integrated, network-based system, Cougar Helicopters' IT department and Northeastern Protection had to implement an independent and parallel LAN network for both Halifax and the SAR building in St. John's to eliminate concerns of bandwidth issues and to identify IP addresses for its IP surveillance cameras.
To take an integrated approach, Cougar Helicopters
selected several solutions from Tyco Security Products, with the Kantech EntraPass Corporate Edition software as its security management platform. The network and web-ready security management system fully integrates with the other security systems installed in the Cougar Helicopters' terminal, including an HDVR Hybrid Video Recorder from American Dynamics and a DSC PowerSeries Alarm Panel for the intrusion system.
The capabilities of EntraPass allow Cougar Helicopters to integrate its access control data with both its video and intrusion systems. As a result, EntraPass can search events that have been generated by the DSC PowerSeries system, allowing the IT department in St. John's to gather this data from one workstation instead of multiple sources. The speed, accuracy and ease of use create a very efficient investigation process.
In addition, Kantech EntraPass, coupled with KT400 door controllers, manages access for controlled entry points. Cougar Helicopters recently added a new functionality to its system to provide enhanced safety measures for employees. As an employee enters a
designated area in either the Halifax building or SAR facility, the EntraPass system is programmed to begin a countdown process, so if an employee does not exit within a specified time frame the system generates an alarm to create a response process.
The surveillance system took a hybrid approach, with 16 analog ports and 8 IP ports on the HDVR. The Kantech EntraPass Corporate Edition software is providing the interface with both the video and access control system. This approach enables the facility to add more analog or IP megapixel cameras as needed
For Cougar Helicopters, an integrated and networked surveillance system goes beyond security to enable it to
manage day-to-day business activities. The remote monitoring video system allows management to monitor the hangar from anywhere in the world, and the video screens in the pilot's longe enable pilots to see when their helicopters are ready for flight.
The advantages of remote access are not limited to the video portions of the system. Having the ability to control and manage doors from a central location through the Kantech EntraPass system also provides Cougar with operational advantages.
"We can lock down the building, we can open up doors and manage it remotely," Dawe explained. "We always have someone who can take control because we have an IT team in St. John's to manage our facilities."
At the newly built SAR facility in St. John's, Cougar incorporated the Kantech integration platform installed in Halifax. Following the standard developed for Halifax the SAR facility became an added site on Kantech EntraPass, which allows it to be managed from the
same IT infrastructure.
With its operations continuing to grow, Cougar Helicopters can now update its security company-wide thanks to the work of Northeastern Protection and the Kantech EntraPass platform. The foundation provided by the system in Halifax can also carry Cougar
Helicopters through any future construction projects.
The Customer – Cougar Helicopters
Incorporated in 1984 in Nova Scotia, Cougar
Helicopters commenced operations shuttling passengers between the airport and downtown Halifax. The company entered the offshore oil and gas industry in 1990 with a support contract in Gijon, Spain, and later that same year returned to Nova Scotia to begin flying for the oil industry in Atlantic Canada. With the signing of the Hibernia Management & Development
Corporation (HMDC) contract in 1995, operations began off the coast of Newfoundland & Labrador. Today, Cougar Helicopters provides Search & Rescue operations, helicopter emergency medical services, offshore aerial construction and more.
The Solutions Provider – Tyco Security Products
Tyco Security Products, part of Tyco (NYSE: TYC), is a unified group of world-leading access control, video and intrusion brands. Operating in more than 40 offices with over 2000 employees, these brands - American Dynamics, Bentel, CEM Systems, DSC, Kantech, Software House, Visonic, and Elpas- have more combined years of experience in the security industry than any other group in the world. Our security integration platforms, built by our developers from across all product disciplines allow our customers to see more, do more, and save more. Our solutions today are designed to be compatible with the
technology of tomorrow.
The Integrator – Northeastern Protection Service Inc.
Northeastern Protection Service (a division of Northeastern Investigations Inc.) has been providing quality security solutions throughout Canada since 1983. Originally established as an Investigation agency, Northeastern has grown in the past 28 years to include a complete range of security solutions for corporate
clients. Northeastern's Technical Security division is a leader in creating complete enterprise-wide solutions that can be customized to exceed customer needs.