Operational and public safety management each have many facets that impact on one another. The Table Mountain cableway upgrade offers a case study.
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway (TMAC) has been transporting people to the summit of Table Mountain since 1929. The scenery has not changed much, but the number of visitors, the risks, and the value of their safety and security have all increased.
In 85 years, over 24 million people have used the cableway. “The volume of visitors requires that operational management has to be exceptional. Traffic control, parking control, queue management, grounds management, security, retail management and food and beverage management all form part of our risk management”, said Meycom project directors Andrew Briton.
The surveillance system has to support all of these processes in an integrated manner. The analogue safety and security system installed to monitor the cableway was no longer providing the information necessary to effectively secure and manage the sites.
The surveillance solution is now used beyond the initial scope. The intention was to review footage in the event of theft or other incidents.
Now, the operator has employed dedicated staff to monitor the cameras to prevent theft and other incidents, in an integrated operational and public safety management system.
The footage is also scrutinised as a management tool to assist with operational issues such as queue length and traffic control.
Weather conditions add to risk profile
Technical director Roshen Kajie said weather conditions at the Top Station are completely different from conditions at the Lower Station. The Top Station is exposed to extremely high altitude and the corrosive effect of salt moisture in the air.
The AXIS P3364-VE is an outdoor HDTV fixed dome camera with a weather-proof and vandal-resistant casing, capable of operating in extreme temperatures from -40° C to 55° C. The Top Station is 1067m above sea level and exposed to occasionally strong wind and mist.
Cableway operational staff required visuals of a control board in a closed shaft at the Top Station. Now they use an AXIS T90C Fixed Dome IR-LED is an infra-red illuminator that enables the cameras to deliver quality images in darkness, and to monitor the various control indicator lights from the Lower Station.
PTZ network cameras assist with security and traffic and visitor control. Compact HDTV network cameras are integrated with the point-of-sale software to ensure the integrity of the retail data.
The public safety management upgrade was overseen by Diversified Security Engineering’s Nigel Versfeld. After a bid process, specialist fire and security contractor Meycom was awarded the contract to deploy a more efficient monitoring solution, supported by Axis cameras.
Table Mountain is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, and a World Heritage Site. With its three kilometre plateau and breath-taking cliffs and slopes, the mountain attracts visitors from all over the world.
The mountain is a central character in legends and myths that feature apparitions, magical flutes, magical rings, and poltergeists.
According to the ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui, or wind and water energy balance, Cape Town’s configuration in the shape of an armchair, with protection from Table Mountain at the rear, two armrests provided by Lion’s Head to the west, and Devil’s Peak to the east, creates a natural energy, safety and security site.
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