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Renkus-Heinz’s ICONYX columns bring clarity to Hurghada airport

Egypt’s Hurghada International Airport has turned to Renkus-Heinz to solve its intelligibility issues with system designer Dar Al Handasah specifying ICONYX digitally steered arrays. Cairo-based TECO was contracted to install the 74 Renkus-Heinz ICONYX columns to cover the airport’s various halls.

Hurghada International Airport currently serves up to 4.6 million passengers per year, however following the construction of new runways and a new $300m terminal, the airport’s capacity is set to reach 7.5m passengers.

Constructed by ADPI, Dar Al Handasah, and Al Marasam International Group, the new 90,000sqm 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. TECO’s Amgad William Younan explained the acoustic characteristics of the space: “The floors are marble, and the walls are glass with aluminium casing. 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. The International and Domestic Gates, which is the largest area in the airport, is covered by 30 IC16/8-R-II columns, seven IC8-R-II and two IC24-R-II columns. The Check-in hall is served by 11 IC16/8-R-II systems and 10 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,” said 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 modelling 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. 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 concluded: “The ICONYX more than met our expectations, and the consultant and clients were very impressed with the results. This is truly the best sounding airport in all of Egypt.”

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