Dallas Love Field Airport in North Texas

Dallas Love Field Airport in North Texas

Won-Door doors play a part in national security

By Sharon HaddockDallas Love Field Airport

Won-Door accordion doors have long played a significant role in protecting people in office buildings, hospitals and public facilities from flame and smoke.

But the doors can also play a valuable role in protecting citizenry from terrorist attacks.

At the Dallas Love Field airport in north Texas, two FireGuard SteelCurtain doors in the upper landing circulation lobbies, will close in the event of a fire threat and also provide a shutdown option to unwanted access.

Dan Hursin, project architect for Corgan Associates in Dallas, said his team included two WonDoor FireGuard SteelCurtain assemblies at the upper landing circulation lobby areas.

One door is 18' wide and 13' tall which the other is a bi-parting assembly that is 29' wide and 16' tall.

The doors help address concerns brought about by the events of 911, he said.

"In the event of a security need these assemblies can be closed by security personnel at the door location  or remotely from a PC to control access to areas where security is an important element of the TSA requirements," Hursin said. "These doors are also available to provide fire and smoke separation if ever required in a fire situation, but their primary function is for access control."

Mike George, head of Won-Door engineering, said while the doors are primarily manufactured for fire and smoke protection, the doors would stop most simple attacks.

"You basically have two layers of thin gauge steel. They are all steel, all integrated," George said.

To say the doors were impenetrable would not be an accurate statement, George said but they would slow down a bullet and stop anyone trying to run through one as one did when a Los Angeles firefighter put it to the test.

"In fact, we had one firefighter at a conference tell us he could run through one so we challenged him. He didn't get very far," George said.

Won-Door District Manager Dave Larsen explained that the doors "are generally only deployed when security personnel are onsite and an emergency exists as defined by the TSA.

"Access control in any building is a series of layers of redundancy put in place to slow down perpetrators until they can be apprehended and contained by law enforcement.

"Each layer of protection establishes a barrier and is calculated in the overall access control scenario to slow down or stop perpetrators from reaching their target objective; just like a moat or drawbridge protecting a castle."

The FireGuard SteelCurtain assembly establishes one of those control points, Larsen said. "It is an important and vital component of this overall security plan.

"FireGuard SteelCurtain plays a defined yet critical role in protecting and providing a secure environment for travelers that would be difficult to accomplish in any other way without serious compromises to the building's architecture."

Thus, In addition, the doors allow for retention of the open feel and free flow architects and owners want for the renovated airport.

The Love Field Modernization Program will renovate and expand the facility, creating a cohesive, modern airport that will serve Dallas citizenry and travelers for years ahead. The renovations include a new centralized concourse with 20 gates, a remodeled main lobby, an expanded baggage claim area and a new ticketing wing.

The aging airport has been the "in town" airport for many years and is the basis of operations for Southwest airlines.