Matrix knows security.

Case Study

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Protects 17 Million Annual Visitors with Frontier™ Standard


Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) services 17 million passengers annually and has been consistently ranked as one of the top-rated airports in the world for the past 15 years. CVG offers non-stop service to 120 cities, nearly three times the number of destinations served by the five surrounding airports combined. It is a strong catalyst for the creation of tens of thousands of area jobs and overall economic growth. CVG prides itself on its unparalleled convenience for travelers and the airlines that serve them.


The events of 9/11 drastically changed how airports throughout the world do business and CVG is no exception. For decades, foresight and responsible planning have enabled CVG to take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities within the aviation industry. With over 7,000 acres to secure, CVG had the opportunity to build the best access control and management system it could to protect the airport.

Business Challenge

In this highly regulated industry, new requirements seem to emerge overnight, and CVG needed to work with a supplier who could respond as quickly. “Directives come down and we don’t have much time to implement them,” said Joe Weil, airport security coordinator. Joe is responsible for the airport security program, the Identification and Access Control departments as well as overseeing the closed-circuit television camera system.

With many departments feeding into airport security, it was difficult-to-manage, driving complexity into day-to-day operations to ensure all of the components were fully integrated together. “We had tried a supplier who cobbled together a system for us and it didn’t work. We needed a supplier who could do it all – had the security experience, knew how to build the solutions we needed, and could provide the near-instant service we require,” Joe stated.


“Matrix made a very clean operation for us,” added Joe. “They are a one-stop supplier and it makes it very easy for us to operate under frequent changes. Matrix is extremely responsive to our changing requirements and helps us meet compliance regulations.” Today, CVG has over 12,000 security identification display (SID) badges, and monitors 250 doors and 300 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. All of the equipment is managed by Matrix Systems access control and monitoring solutions. “Matrix made a very clean operation for us,” added Joe. “They are a one-stop supplier and it makes it very easy for us to operate under frequent changes. Matrix is extremely responsive to our changing requirements and helps us meet compliance regulations.”

Matrix Frontier software is at the heart of the solution. It is a comprehensive security solution that provides real-time monitoring and control of access doors and alarm points for local and remote installations. Matrix Frontier architecture has three layers of database protection to ensure CVG is fully reliable 24x7. Only Matrix offers protection against network, server, or controller failure. Its open architecture easily and seamlessly integrates with CCTV, credential production, elevator control, lock exempt operation, and other secure airport applications.

Frontier software is easily adapted as requirements change and ensures a smooth migration path to new technology as it is developed. It can accommodate up to one million badges and control from 16 to 16,000 doors with a single server, plus virtually an unlimited number of doors in a multi-server environment.

CVG also deploys the Matrix MX2 Magnetic Stripe Card Reader. The MX2 can control and monitor doors, gates, turnstiles, and elevators. It can also be enhanced through the use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and anti-passback for an additional security level. CVG has completed a pilot program using biometric readers as well and plans to pursue this technology.

To complete the access control and monitoring system, CVG uses the Matrix Frontier Imageworks credential production system. It tightly integrates with biometrics, human resource (HR) systems, and camera surveillance systems, helping to manage staff and visitors. Frontier Imageworks is a complete package, with the workstation, camera, backdrop, printers, badges, and ribbons all included in a turnkey solution.

Frontier Imageworks eliminates the need to perform data entry of badge holder information multiple times, reduces errors, and simplifies the photo ID badge production process, increasing airport efficiency. It provides an array of badge type and image printing options, allowing the airport to customize its badges. Different access levels can also be defined as determined by various threat levels. In the event of a threat-level escalation, personnel can quickly be denied access to sensitive areas.

Business Benefits

The Matrix Systems Frontier solution helps CVG mitigate risk within its security system. Since the entire system is supplied and supported from Matrix Systems, all components are tightly integrated, eliminating issues that could arise with disparate systems. Frontier is easily customizable and adapts well to the airport’s frequent new requirements, thereby also easing the administration burden.


Airport access control and management

Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International Airport

Matrix Frontier™ Standard

Business Results:
Efficient and effective round-the-clock access control and management, mitigating risk and enabling continuous airport operation