Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a major airport located in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. It is one of the busiest airports in the world and serves as the primary hub for American Airlines, with over 700 daily departures to more than 140 destinations. The airport covers an area of 5,558 acres and has one terminal building with five concourses. Safety is given the highest priority by the Airport Authority. It has a dedicated Public Safety staff that provides both Police and ARFF services.

The Charlotte airport successfully upgraded its emergency notification system by implementing the ConsortAlert solution provided by Forum Communications. 

Charlotte Airport Challenges and Needs:

  • The previous crash system used leased analog phone lines, which were expensive and did not have advanced features like modern software-centric IP systems 
  • The lack of optical fiber from the FAA Tower to the rest of the airport made it difficult to reach all necessary airport agencies.
  • Switching to an IP based emergency telephone system must meet the same high availability and resiliency metrics of analog telephone systems.
  • Integration with the existing AVTEC operations management and dispatch system was required, to support streamlined processes at the Operations center.
  • Airport ARFF stations’ legacy PA systems would continue to be used and must be integrated, not replaced.
  • Crash alerts must also be transmitted to the Air National Guard (ANG) base that share the airfield with Charlotte International Airport.
  • Previous crash system did not conform to FAA directives, due to the use of shared telephone equipment at one ARFF station and the lack of a monitoring console at the FAA Tower.

Forum Communications Solution:

  • The Forum Communications solution provided a fully integrated IP-based system that included dual servers for redundancy, utilization of the Airport’s significant investment in IP network infrastructure, and a direct SIP link to the Airport’s AVTEC system. 
  • Forum’s Consort Alert system also connected to their existing analog PA systems in a seamless manner
  • Linkage was provided from the Crash Network to the ANG base on the other side of the airport (via Fiber). 
  • Full compliance with FAA directives

Key Benefits:

  • Forum solution included the consolidation of all emergency notification functions into one system
  • Reduction in costs by eliminating old analog ring-down telephone lines, and the improved speed and quality of emergency response. 
  • The solution also ensured that all necessary airport agencies were notified in the event of an emergency, making it a reliable and efficient emergency notification system.
  • All FAA directives were instantly complied with by the airport
  • Seamless integration with their existing legacy systems

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