Working With Airports
When officials at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport [Sea-Tac] decided to upgrade security at their airport – the nation’s 9th busiest – they were motivated by terrorist events in Europe. Specifically, in 2016, a group of ISIS-backed terrorists launched a suicide bombing attack on Brussels Airport. The attack killed 32 and left more than 300 injured.
Glass in the Brussels terminal shattered and was propelled through the air, adding to the injury toll. So as a part of their overall security upgrades and renovations to the airport, Sea-Tac officials decided to include the installation of security window film as part of the project.
The Sea-Tac project involved installing 8-mil clear shatter resistant window film with a perimeter wet glaze attachment system to all the airport entrance side windows on the baggage, parking and terminal levels and at Gina Marie Lindsey Arrivals Hall, adjacent to Terminal A. In total, security window film was installed on over 3,000 panes of glass totaling over 80,000 sq. ft. of security film and 76,000 lineal feet of wet glaze.
As with all airports, the project required precise planning and coordination between Commercial Window Shield and airline and airport officials since the airport never closes and often is packed with passengers and airport employees. Much of the work was done at night. The size and scope of the project also required a number of unique window film installation procedures developed by the company’s experienced engineers.
Commercial Window Shield was hired by the renovation project’s general contractor, Osborne Construction Co. of Kirkland, Wash. Osborne chose the company over a number of other security window installation firms because of its considerable experience.
Previously, Commercial Window Shield installed shatter resistant window film at Terminal 1 at O’Hare International Airport, the country’s third busiest airport.
For the O’Hare project, Commercial Window Shield was asked to protect enormous panes of glass at the arrival and departure areas at the airport’s famously crowded United Terminal. The company installed 8-mil security window film with a perimeter wet glaze attachment to 37,000 square feet of exposed hard-to-reach glass in a crowded, busy environment.
As often is the case when Commercial Window Shield takes on an intricate project, job specifications developed by the project’s architect and engineering firms were not feasible. Commercial Window Shield offered an alternative, more effective plan utilizing its own engineering calculations and installation design. Part of Commercial Window Shield’s project plan called for three scissor lifts and a 40-foot articulating boom to be used to reach the top of the extremely large panes of glass.
As with the Sea-Tac project, Commercial Window Shield installers worked late at night and during other less busy times in the terminal. The company worked closely with airport officials, including the city of Chicago, which manages the airport, to make sure there were no issues that impacted employees or passengers.
The Sea-Tac and Chicago safety and security window film installation projects likely are just the beginning as the nation’s airports continue to seek ways to upgrade their security.
Terrorist threats aren’t the only reason airports are looking at security window film installation to protect their glass. Airports in hurricane and tornado belts also are considering glass protection since high windows can shatter windows and turn glass into dangerous projectiles.
Airports, of course, present unique challenges for security window film installers. Generally, there are enormous amounts of large, exposed glass that require creative and imaginative solutions. One of the reasons Commercial Window Shield has been hired for such projects has been the ability’s of the company’s engineers to always develop a way for its installers to easily reach hard-to-reach glass to install their fragment retention security film.