Tannoy installation pays dividends for Canberra Airport

Canberra Airport has been named ‘Australia’s Airport of the Year’ – thanks in part to an AV installation that utilises Tannoy‘s digital beam steering technology.

Rutledge AV was commissioned to design, install and deliver the Western Concourse PA and Emergency Warning and Intercommunication System (EWIS) for Stage 2 of the transport hub. The solution had to integrate seamlessly into the existing systems to ensure airport-wide communication from a centralised control point.

Being such a modern structure meant Canberra Airport presented some complex AV challenges given the expansive spaces. For example, the airport’s Atrium is a particularly complex space given the volume of glass used – the three-storey structure measures 16 metres high, uses 279 glazed panels and covers 1,500sqm.

The combination of the physical space and surfaces, ambient noise levels, speaker selection, quantity and placement would all affect the overall sound pressure level (SPL) and speech transmission index (STI) performance relevant to the Australian Standard AS1670.4.

The ideal solution to ensure intelligibility was Tannoy’s digital beam steering column array, QFlex. Rutledge was able to provide even coverage to every area using two QFlex 32 devices mounted either-side of the entrance hall and two QFlex 32s airside, along with another QFlex 40. The aesthetics of the speakers was a major consideration in the equipment selection to ensure they would work in harmony with the built environment. Several iterations of the design and model were required to conform with the architectural requirements.

Elsewhere, 300 of Tannoy’s CMS 601BM have been deployed on the concourse, restaurant and departure gates to provide even coverage throughout the terminal. The CMS 601 is a mid-sized ceiling monitor system specifically designed for applications requiring high quality sonic performance for music and speech reinforcement and reliability.

"A project of this size that operates for most of the day in a public environment meant that the Rutledge AV commissioning team worked overnight to have the new system operational by morning. The night work was also necessary to undertake the required EVAC testing of the system and the cutover required precise coordination with the client to ensure that all stakeholders were on line at the same time,” said Andrew Morrice, CEO of Rutledge AV.

Stuart Archibald, product manager for Tannoy, added: “Tannoy have firmly established QFlex as the solution of choice in major transportation hubs in the UK and abroad, and forthcoming innovations will only add to an already extensive feature set and underline Tannoy’s ongoing commitment to be at the forefront of the steerable and architectural audio market. This superior innovation, unbeatable sonic clarity and overall user experience make QFlex the most compelling choice for any application where intelligibility in a reverberant space is a paramount concern.”

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