Charleston International Installs Gunshot Detection

CHS leads the aviation industry as the nation’s first to deploy gunshot detection system in the airport terminal to protect travelers in active shooter incidents

Charleston, South Carolina – October 11, 2018 – Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), the leading gunshot detection solutions provider to the transportation industry, and the Charleston County Aviation Authority (CCAA), owner and operator of Charleston International Airport (CHS), today announced the airport’s selection of The Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection and reporting system as an added layer of protection in the airport terminal against the active shooter threat to airport travelers and staff.

While the airport is continually seeking advanced solutions to provide better protection for airport passengers against all measures of threats, the 2015 Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting in Charleston that claimed the lives of nine area residents, and other mass shootings that followed, sparked the airport’s search for active shooter technology. After a review of different gunshot detection systems, the airport chose SDS’ gunshot detection system for its proven reliability and performance, the dual-mode acoustic and infrared detection capability, and third-party qualifications of the system including SAFETY Act Certification by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The airport selected Johnson Controls Security Solutions (Johnson Controls), an SDS partner with extensive experience in providing building and security solutions to airports and federal government agencies, to install and maintain the system. Guardian is a system of sensors that detect acoustic gunshot signatures and the visual flash from the discharge of a weapon combined with advanced software, providing a capability that can promptly report shooting incidents to building occupants and first responders. Johnson Controls will also integrate the system with C-CURE 9000, the airport’s access control system that can be configured to create gunshot detection alarms, activate door locking or open doors for safe egress, queue cameras to record a shooter’s location, and stream live video along with associated maps to significantly reduce response time to active shooter incidents.

The airport terminal building includes a memorial to the nine lives lost at the Emanuel AME shooting, with the tribute serving as a reminder of the Airport Authority’s commitment to the safety of the Charleston community. “Safety is our first priority,” said Paul Campbell, Executive Director and CEO of the CCAA. “With this system our first responders will quickly receive shot location information so they can respond directly to a verified threat with added situational awareness. It’s lifesaving technology that adds a vital layer of security against the active shooter threat.”

Although the Guardian System has been in operation at airport administrative buildings since early 2017, CHS represents the first airport to install gunshot detection that covers a public passenger terminal.  “Together with our partner Johnson Controls, we are extremely pleased to add Charleston to SDS’ growing list of aviation and transportation customers,” said Dan Marshall, Director of Federal Accounts for SDS. “By selecting DHS certified active shooter detection technology that seamlessly integrates with their existing security technologies, the airport’s security forces and area first responders will now have maximum situational awareness to respond faster and save lives when seconds matter most to the airport’s passengers, vendors, and staff.”