Auckland International Airport upgrades with Harman

Auckland International Airport upgrades with Harman
Auckland International Airport has recently completed the first stage of an extension to its international baggage hall. Bartons Sound Systems, an Auckland system integrator, was employed to install the PA system for the new space and they chose Harman’s JBL Intellivox DC280 digitally steerable, self-powered loudspeaker arrays for the job.

Rob Waddell of Bartons Sound Systems said regarding the installation: “Until this project, nearly all of the PA loudspeakers used at Auckland International Airport were ceiling speakers or old-style PA horns for exterior areas. Aside from the fact that we wanted to install something much better, the open-ceiling arrangement of the new baggage area precluded the use of ceiling speakers.”

Initial analysis of the space before construction revealed that the area would be highly reverberant. The degree of absorbency (alpha) of the horizontally mounted ceiling baffles that would be installed for reverberation control was unknown. Waddell used EASE AURA acoustic modelling software to determine that two JBL DC280 loudspeakers would be needed to provide audio to the space.

The loudspeakers also had to deliver a STIPA (Speech Transmission Index Public Address) of at least 0.5 because the installation serves both as PA and as an Emergency Warning and Information System. Waddell said regarding the requirements: “Management wanted the PA to deliver at least 0.6 minimum STIPA and the JBL DC280 easily achieves this. The DC280’s ability to provide highly focused coverage, yet over a large distance, is key in achieving this level of power and intelligibility while overcoming such highly reverberant acoustics.”

The DC280 also provided cost saving because it is self-powered hence removing the need for external amplifiers. The successful use of the JBL DC280 has led Waddell to specify installing two more of the beam-steerable array loudspeakers for the upcoming Stage 2 of the baggage hall extension project.