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Medeco Case Study: eCylinders
Roanoke Regional Airport
Protecting Valuable Physical Assets in a High Traffic Setting
A public facility, such as an airport, must manage multiple entrances
and security access points and identify the best solution for each one.
For years, the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission in Roanoke, Va.,
used a combination of electronic card reader door locks and standard
padlocks to guard sensitive areas of the airport. Although the use of
two locks might seem redundant in other settings, in an airport
environment it is necessary in case the electronic readers fail.
Card readers play an important role in helping airports meet TSA
regulations that govern how these large, busy public facilities monitor
and track openings. But when it came to the standard lock and key
backup system for card readers at the airport, Law Enforcement officials
felt that surely there could be a better and more up-to-date security
Although the mechanical key was only a backup, one lost key was one
lost key too many for the airport. In the tiered key system, a lost key
means determining if the key is a master level key (opens all doors
within that system) or operator level (opens specific doors only). Rekeying, re-pinning and re-issuing replacement keys must all happen very
quickly. Finally, the TSA needs to be notified within a certain time frame
that the key has been lost and the locks have been changed—essentially
they need assurance that physical security has not been compromised.
“I did a considerable amount of
research and decided to install Medeco
XT electronic lock cylinders in all
security sensitive areas of the airport. In
some cases, this was in addition to
existing magnetic card swipe access
These electronic lock cylinders use a
‘smart’ key that is programmed
using one of our access control
Key access can be customized for a
specific day or time and is unique to
each individual. If a key is lost, we
simply take a control key and touch all
the locks the lost key had access to and
lock out the lost key.
This system has complete audit
capability that is downloadable at one
of the access control computers. You
can access easily what keys tried
successfully or unsuccessfully to open a
door with a date and time stamp
We have installed approximately 150
locks and all employees have been
issued keys. The system has been in
place for 18 months now and we're very
happy with it. We have plans to build
the system out to include perimeter
Sgt. Tony Agee
Law Enforcement, Roanoke Regional
Airport Commission
In 2011, a ROA employee lost a mechanical key. Although it was found within a few hours, the loss of
the key was concerning enough for the airport’s Law Enforcement group to take action.
“We needed a solution for these doors where a mechanical key system was no longer enough,” says Sgt.
Tony Agee, an officer with Roanoke Regional Airport Commission Law Enforcement. “We were also
looking for a lock and key system that could be tailored to our needs and would give us audit capabilities
of when the doors are opened and who is opening them.”
The airport found a solution with Medeco XT eCylinders—a lock system that works when access needs
to be controlled, measured and monitored. In the event of a lost key, a Medeco XT key cannot be
duplicated. Access rights for the lost key can be changed quickly and easily via a web based program—so
the modification can be made on a computer or a smartphone to prevent unauthorized entry.
there, the entire lock system is updated by reprogramming each cylinder using the new code/control
key. There is no need to spend time or money physically re-keying or re-pinning.
“With the Medeco XT cylinders we now have audit capabilities similar to our card reader system,”
continues Agee.
The Medeco XT lock brand was attractive also because the only part that needed to be replaced was the
cylinder—making the upgrade to existing locks easy and more cost-effective than installation of a
completely new system.
“We retrofitted the mechanical cylinders with the new Medeco XT cylinders,” says Agee. “Now, if
someone loses a key, we can use our control key to lock out the lost key—which is a simple process and
can be accomplished in a fraction of the time previously required.”
Pleased with the performance of the initial Medeco XT cylinder installation, the Roanoke Regional
Airport Commission installed additional Medeco XT cylinders in other doors and locks, and plans to
complete the security upgrade in the upcoming fiscal year.
“We now have the accountability needed to ensure the Airport is protected from unnecessary liability or
risk and its passengers, employees and visitors are safe,” adds Agee.