Hurghada, Egypt – July 2015… Egypt’s second busiest airport (only surpassed by Cairo International), Hurghada International Airport currently serves up to 4.6 million passengers per year. With the city’s close proximity to the Red Sea, the airport has seen a growing increase in traffic, and recently completed construction of new runways and a new $300m terminal, growing the airport’s capacity to 7.5 million passengers.
Constructed by ADPI, Dar Al Handasah, and Al Marasam International Group, the new 1 million-square-foot (90,000 square meter) terminal boasts four levels, 20 gates, nine baggage claim carousels, multiple arrival and departure halls, restaurants, lounges, and shopping areas.
As with most large indoor structures, this massive, reverberant environment presented challenges for the sound system designers. To address the venue’s needs for intelligible and high-fidelity sound, system designer Dar Al Handasah specified digitally steered arrays for the space. Cairo-based TECO was contracted to install a total of 74 Renkus-Heinz ICONYX columns to cover the airport’s various halls.
As TECO’s Amgad William Younan of explains, the structure’s acoustics only exacerbated the issue. “The floors are marble, and the walls are glass with aluminum casing,” he observes. “And each area’s dimensions are quite huge. The only positive was the ceilings, which are acoustic tiles.”
TECO chose Renkus-Heinz ICONYX digitally steered arrays, with a total of 74 ICONYX systems in all. The largest area, the International and Domestic Gates, is covered by 30 IC16/8-R-II columns, along with seven IC8-R-II and two IC24-R-II columns. The Check-in hall is served by 11 IC16/8-R-II systems, while ten IC8-R-II columns cover the Greeter area. One of the more challenging areas, the Baggage Claim carousels, are covered by 12 IC24-R-II columns, with a pair of IC8-R-II units filling in some smaller corners.
“The ability to control the beams of the ICONYX speakers enabled us to provide exceptional speech intelligibility in this very large, highly reverberant space,” says Younan. “Using far fewer units than would be required with conventional speakers, we were able to achieve uniform, even coverage to even the more hard to reach areas.”
More than a year was spent in EASE modeling the complex spaces, and Younan reports the results were more than worth the effort. “The system specification called for achieving an STI of more than 0.5,” he says. “Using the ICONYX systems, we were able to increase the STI to a range between 0.55 and 0.7, even exceeding 0.7 in some areas.”
Younan concludes, “the ICONYX more than met our expectations, and the consultant and client were very impressed with the results. This is truly the best sounding airport in all of Egypt.”
About Renkus-Heinz – Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.