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Increase Safety and Security through Interoperable Communication

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The world of communication changes rapidly, and when internal and external paging methods cannot keep up, major operations face a communication crisis. One of the busiest international airports in the world, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, found itself in just such a situation. After discovering what changes were needed, O’Hare International Airport proceeded to look for a solution that would save time, money, and lives.

 

The Problem

With tens of millions of passengers and hundreds of thousands of flights going through O’Hare every year, superior communication is essential. Safety and security depend on interoperability and straightforward communication between not only various terminals and departments within the airport, but also with federal agencies, emergency services, and police. In the case of an international airport, these safety and security needs have a direct impact on national security.

 

The existing paging system depended on five hundred dedicated terminals. While this alone was a bit of a logistical nightmare, the situation was even more complicated. Each terminal depended on an agent or operator to send a page or wireless message. The processes had to be repeated for repeated messages. It was tremendously time consuming and unwieldy. In the worst cases, it could take hours to notify all relevant personnel and responders. In an industry that depends on speed, Chicago O’Hare needed a better solution to their communication needs.

 

The airport needed a centralized design that would allow rapid communication and cut down on costs. In addition to these basic requirements, O’Hare needed a system that could categorize reports based on departments and a web-based Graphical User Interface to ease use and further speed deployment. These requirements would build a reliable system that solved immediate problems and set up the airport for future communications developments.

 

HipLink’s Solution

HipLink brought a solution that addressed two of the airport’s major concerns immediately. HipLink Application Messaging became part of the communication center. Thanks to the design of the system, it provided a centralized messaging solution while also allowing modular organization. Scalable and flexible, the system would allow for future developments and expansions with relatively little effort. In addition to answering O’Hare’s primary needs, the intuitive system promoted rapid learning. It wasn’t difficult to integrate into the airport’s system or to train their employees.

 

The Results

By blending analog and wireless solutions, the new system is much better suited to an international airport’s needs. The cost of running the paging system dropped considerably, and responder response time also improved. In some cases, the response time went from hours to minutes.

 

The new system utilizes automated features, such as failover, to ensure the necessary responders receive their messages. With the system’s modular structure, O’Hare’s communication specialists improved their organization to consider things like location, responsibility, agency, and even the severity of the emergency. This would not have been possible under the previous system.

 

A single terminal now gives operators superior control over paging and messaging. It’s the ideal solution for the busy international airport, both now and for the foreseeable future. Passengers and employees are safer, and the nation is more secure.

 

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