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Cairns International Airport

Client: Jonson Controls

Location: Melbourne  VIC

Date completed: Ongoing

Equipment Supplied: 150+

Cairns International Airport and Zenitel – A long history of Communication

The first Zenitel Intercom exchange to be installed at Cairns Airport was purchased by Qantas to support their staff’s need for fast action communication in the early 1980’s. Since then, the system was expanded throughout the airport under the control of the Airport Authorities. Check in counter operators benefited from Handsfree Loudspeaking communication between themselves and service desks. Baggage handlers had rugged terminals to communicate to controllers and Flight Coordinators could handle calls and speak clearly and be understood with the high voice quality available from the Zenitel Pamex.

Continued Co-operation…

In the 90’s, the Cairns Airport Zenitel system received it’s first upgrade, from Pamex to Touchline, opening up a new world of features, including full microprocessor control and configuration of the system, Display Stations with caller information. New group call possibilities, Radio monitoring and Telephone interfacing possibilities were taken up by the airport authority. New style handsets, in keeping with the new central exchange, brought the look, feel and operation into the 1990’s.

A new Millennium…

In 2005, and after 15 years of solid service, the airport had outgrown the capacity of the Touchline system. A 408 line AlphaCom system was installed in a new communications room, and the Cairns Airport Intercom system went digital. Higher capacity (over 140,000 lines max ), Higher voice quality (from 8khz to 16khz), faster call setup times and higher traffic handling ability all worked towards Cairns Airport becoming a major International destination.

Welcome to the world of IP…

The Domestic Terminal Upgrade and the deployment of a Cisco VoIP telephone system paved the way for the current upgrade. A new AlphaCom E7 located in the Domestic Terminal communicates over IP to the upgraded AlphaCom E20 system. A simple processor change to the International Exchange enabled all the IP services required. Both the Domestic and International exchanges support 8 VoIP links between each other, and to the Cisco VoIP phone system for calls between both systems. While the International terminal retains their Analog handsets, the Domestic Terminal is now featuring Zenitel IP Intercom Stations. Remote configuration and monitoring of the system is performed from our Bayswater office as new stages and areas of the Domestic Terminal were completed, adding value to our commissioning service.

Future Proofed to Maximise Investment Return

One element has not changed since the start, and that is Zenitel dedication to backwards compatibility. While technology marches on, the Intercom Handsets deployed 30 years ago are still supported by the Intercom Equipment installed in 2010. We understand the investment in the Intercom Stations represents the largest portion of any installation, but by choosing Zenitel, this investment can pay off many times over. A recent software upgrade of the IP Terminals has added additional functionality to the original 2008 stations, including a fully managed network switch, 802.1x support and Active Noise Cancellation for outside areas exposed to the high noise of normal airport operations.

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