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The Benefits of Modernizing Access Control Systems at Smaller Airports

Today’s access control systems are far more complex but also more effective than those of the past. Unfortunately, despite many advancements in the field, there are still facilities out there relying on legacy systems or, even worse, pen-and-paper documentation of who comes and goes. That may be fine when it comes to some smaller businesses that have yet to invest in more effective infrastructure, but it won’t cut it when it comes to airport access control.

Airports have been experiencing threats not just from external actors but also from insiders in increasing numbers. As a result, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been tightening security requirements for facilities across the country. No matter how small or secluded, airports are required to stay compliant with TSA standards, which means proper employee access control and badging are a must.

Modernizing Airport Badging Systems

Because the TSA places the onus for ensuring adequate access control on the airports themselves, there are many different systems in place across the country for keeping track of employees. The most advanced of them are known as digital identity management systems, and they can be found primarily at large international airports.


While large airports can afford to invest in brand-new, state-of-the-art systems, smaller ones typically rely on more piecemeal approaches to modernizing. They update the parts of their access control systems that require it without considering a full overhaul, which can be prohibitively expensive. However, with the price points for security software and hardware coming down and regulatory non-compliance fines going up, now is the time to consider modernizing.

The Benefits of Modernizing Airport Badging Systems

The high costs associated with modernizing access control systems sometimes cause facility administrators at smaller airports to often overlook the benefits. While it’s true that switching to a new, modern badging solution will require an initial investment, it can save airports money and administrators a lot of headaches in the long run.

One of the top benefits of implementing a modern access control system is that it will significantly reduce opportunities for human error. Human error can introduce unnecessary vulnerability into essential security systems, creating opportunities for both unauthorized access and insider threats. Automating as much of the system as possible will help to reduce human error and keep the airport safe.

Having a fully modern access control system in place also reduces the chances of facing fines by the TSA. In comparison to both paper logs and pieced-together security software systems, unified access control systems keep detailed records of everyone who enters and exits the airport, providing valuable information in the event of a TSA audit. Having an effective system in place can make the difference between maintaining a reputation for strong security and facing potentially hefty fines for non-compliance.

The Best Option for Smaller Airports

While smaller airports can’t always afford the highly sophisticated systems used by their larger counterparts, they also don’t typically need them. A unified access control system with a specialized badging solution in place for airports offers all of the same benefits at a fraction of the cost.

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