Issue 26

AV Case Study: Rockhampton Airport

ASL products provide a focused and intelligible paging system in an acoustically challenged environment.


2 April 2024

Rockhampton City is 630kms north of Brisbane and has a population of around 80,000 people. It’s actually one of the oldest cities in Queensland, making it a sort of Mecca for tourists who appreciate the colonial architecture and the famous ‘Queenslander’ houses invariably built on high stumps and with enclosed verandas.

The region is called Central Queensland, an area too far north to properly benefit from the tourism of the Sunshine Coast, and likewise too far south of the attractions of The Great Barrier Reef and the vast numbers of visitors it enjoys.

Thus the local airport is a modest affair compared to some, and it doesn’t host international flights – yet. However, the powers-that-be are looking to the future because an increase in traffic and patronage will undoubtedly come, and there’s already a steady stream of air traffic servicing the mining and cattle industries inland. Upgrading the paging system was overdue and much-needed, and management wanted to install something that was certainly future-proof. In the coming years there’s plenty of that expansion expected.


Airport terminals in Queensland are mostly built in a similar way – as if the planes are required to fly inside the building. High, cavernous ceilings, lots of panoramic windows, steel roofs and walls, all in a single space that likely could double as an aircraft hangar, all combined being a recipe for poor acoustics and lots of reverberant, ambient noise. And don’t forget the wedge-shape skillion roof – a vast stretch of tin built high at the front, low at the rear, and amplifies tropical rainfall to deafening levels.

The paging system is prioritised on the six departure gates and requires a tight, focused clarity to circumvent those acoustic problems, plus the equipment needs to be rugged. Even indoors, the Central Queensland climate isn’t kind on electronics. Heat and humidity will quickly take their toll on gear that won’t cope with those conditions.


Local integrator Comms Centre Business Technologies (CCBT) was asked to develop a new control system, amplifiers and paging points. Amber Technology’s Technical Sales & Support (TSS) team member Scott Riley identified that Rockhampton Airport, despite its relative diminutive size, faced exactly the same issues as several very large, mass transit hubs around the world, for example Heathrow Airport, the London Tube and Australia’s own Sydney Rail. The difficult acoustics and challenging environment are similar, only on a larger scale.

The answer is ASL paging equipment, which is what’s used at those facilities. ASL stands for Application Solutions (Safety and Security) Ltd which provides specialised equipment for precisely this kind of application. With the level of product knowledge and training on ASL products that was needed for the project, Scott and Nathan Barrios from Amber Technology’s TSS team assisted CCBT to implement the project.

It’s not just about a resilient install that will survive the environment. ASL is very flexible and can be easily expanded, while at the same time offering a complexity that allows for more dedicated applications for the whole system. For example, ASL can be simply integrated into security points, fire alarm networks and other safety systems, all with a high level of redundancy. The amplifiers are card-based and housed in an ASL V2000 chassis-style amplifier mainframe, so the cards can be hot-swapped in an emergency to service critical zones – although having spares on hand is much better if the worst happens. Six of the ASL D500 modules were needed. Each paging point, sixteen in all throughout the building, has an ASL MPS10-GO-AN paging microphone that can be comprehensively programmed through ten physical buttons and internal memory that can include recorded messages for that zone.

The existing speakers were still usable especially with the improved back-end ASL equipment connected.


The key words for ASL are reliability and performance in an application where both are needed in spades. Losing communication and paging in a transit building just isn’t an option. Rockhampton Airport now has a compact, well-designed paging system that’s ready for that inevitable expansion anytime, whether that’s next year or next decade. The ASL components promise a longevity and reliability that will cater for any improvements planned well into the foreseeable future. The system is simple for the staff to use and provides excellent clarity in any situation. Even when it buckets down with rain.

Amber Technology (ASL):
Rockhampton Airport:


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