MUHAMMAD ALI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTCase Study
Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport Modernizes Communications System with AtlasIED

You arrived at your gate with ease this morning. You parked, cleared security, and even arrived early enough to grab a coffee. As you prepare to pay, you realize your wallet and phone are missing. Your eyes widen, mind races, and heart quickens while an overwhelming sense of panic sets in

“Scot Wagner, please return to the security checkpoint to retrieve your belongings.”

Did I just hear my name?

“Scot Wagner, please return to the security checkpoint to retrieve your belongings.”

The first announcement startled and got your attention. By the time the second announcement ends, you are already racewalking at world record pace back to the security checkpoint to retrieve your items, foregoing your morning coffee, relieved but also somewhat embarrassed by your oversight.

Traveling can be a stressful experience, even for the experienced flier. Thankfully, the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport’s (SDF) new, state-of-the-art communications system incorporating AtlasIED technology used to deliver Mr. Wagner’s announcement, successfully completed one of its many important duties — reuniting busy passengers with their lost articles.

The Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, renamed in 2019 for the boxing legend who hails from Louisville, is undergoing a multi-year, $400 million renovation effort including several projects across the building. As part of the effort, the Airport built a new, state-of-the art $18.5 million Airport Operations Center in August 2021, which featured multiple upgrades to the Airport’s security and communications systems, including technology and products from AtlasIED.

“With the opportunity to integrate the latest and greatest technology and capabilities from companies like AtlasIED, I'm confident our new Operations Center, our staff, and technology deployed in the airport is best in class in the industry.”

— Dan Mann Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority

According to the World Airport Traffic Report, the airport is ranked the world’s fifth busiest for cargo operations and in 2019, before the pandemic, more than 4.2 million passengers traveled through the airport. Operating the airport requires a massive logistical presence, and communications within the building is essential in helping personnel to direct resources and to connect people during routine operations and emergency situations.

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The Operations Center serves as the airport’s nerve center for all airport operations and includes an around the clock communications hub and team. The Center allows operations, communications, and security staff to continuously monitor and respond to any operational aspect that may arise, including communicating with either internal personnel or directly with visitors over the public facing paging system. If anything happens on the airfield or terminal, baggage claim, drop off or parking lots, all of the communications activity arrives through the Center. Whether it's a standard travel reminder not to leave bags unattended, flight updates, reports of lost luggage, or forgotten belongings left at security checkpoints, the Operations Center team helps connect the right people to act quickly under any circumstance.

“The Operations Department is crucial to the airport, and we’ve worked to assemble the best team and given them the best tools, resources, and technology to do their job,” said Dan Mann, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “With the opportunity to integrate the latest and greatest technology and capabilities from companies like AtlasIED, I’m confident our new Operations Center, our staff, and technology deployed in the airport is best in class in the industry.”

The Airport installed an array of AtlasIED products at key areas throughout the building to give staff convenient access. At the heart of the Airport’s new communications system is the AtlasIED GLOBALCOM™ Enterprise Communications system, which allows the Operations Center team to connect a variety of devices or endpoints to the central network. The GLOBALCOM platform is robust and manages all of the audio as well as connects into visual communication feeds from around the airport. It sends and receives media from across the airport while bridging between multiple network protocols.

The system includes an ACS controller, a software based network appliance that controls the flow of communication traffic. Additionally, it serves as a gateway for external I/O devices, VoIP telephone systems and analog audio to be incorporated into the ecosystem. It provides intelligible two-way talkback between devices, offers record and playback, features advanced scheduling to plan announcements, automated zone specific bells or tones and can automatically adjust audio volume levels based on real time environmental noise during busy or slower times at the airport.

The SDF team also integrated AtlasIED’s lifeline announcement controller that meets compliance requirements for life and safety emergency notification systems. The unit performs overall supervision of the entire system of emergency communication stations, digital zone manager amplifier units, and other network peripherals and provides reporting of equipment alarm conditions. It also has fail over capabilities to ensure that, should a critical situation arise, messages, instructions, and notifications are reliably deployed every time.

The Operations Center installed AtlasIED’s premium touchscreen mic station, IED550, while the other locations use the IED528 mic station. At ticket counters, gate podiums and on the walls at gates, airport personnel can easily access and use the IED528 to communicate with the Operations Center team to report issues or incidents, or use the IED528’s one touch action buttons to trigger announcements and messages, including a live or recorded page to communicate to certain zones like a specific gate or terminal. It can also play back a permanent message to a designated zone group like a customer reminder or emergency message.

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To support the GLOBALCOM ecosystem, the Airport installed AtlasIED in-ceiling speakers, digital power amplifiers, message servers, and other network peripherals to help complete the system. Using GLOBALCOM, the operations team can communicate with visitors when needed at the right location to create a more enjoyable experience for visitors, from the parking lot to the gate.

“We want to be the best airport in the country and we try to not be too humble about the fact we want to be the best,” said Dan Mann, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “When your namesake is Muhammed Ali — the greatest of all time — it's something that we aspire to. I’m confident our new Operations Center puts us at the forefront in the industry.”

The AtlasIED GLOBALCOM engineering and support team is also located in Louisville, and they share a community pride for the world-class international airport as well as a unique collaboration. AtlasIED continues to work with the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport team to trial its technology and products.

The proximity to the airport also has benefitted both organizations as AtlasIED can quickly respond with support and provide personalized training to SDF personnel when needed.

“As the Airport’s needs evolve, AtlasIED and the GLOBALCOM system will scale with it,” said Charles Kowalksi, Domestic Sales Operations Manager, AtlasIED. “We have formed a special, symbiotic relationship with SDF and we look forward to collaborating with them using our latest technology to help them meet their goals in the years ahead.”

Muhammad Ali was not only legendary for his boxing prowess, but also for his gift of speech. The world-class communications skills demonstrated by the team of professionals at the Airport exemplify Ali’s talents and proudly work to carry his legacy forward.

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Louisville Terminal
THE AIRPORT BUILT A NEW, STATE-OF-THE-ART $18.5 MILLION AIRPORT OPERATIONS CENTER, WHICH FEATURED MULTIPLE UPGRADES TO THE AIRPORTS SECURITY AND COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS INCLUDING TECHNOLOGY AND PRODUCTS FROM AtlasIED.
Louisville Atlas Microphone
OPERATING THE AIRPORT REQUIRE A MASSIVE LOGISTICAL PRESENCE, AND COMMUNICATIONS WITHIN THE BUILDING IS ESSENTIAL IN HELPING PERSONNEL TO DIRECT RESOURCES.
Louisville Flying Horse
THE AIRPORT INSTALLED AN ARRAY OF AtlasIED PRODUCTS AT KEY AREAS THROUGHOUT THE BUILDING TO GIVE STAFF CONVENIENT ACCESS.
Louisville Wall
TO SUPPORT THE GLOBALCOM ECOSYSTEM, THE AIRPORT INSTALLED AtlasIED IN-CEILING SPEAKERS, DIGITAL POWER AMPLIFIERS, MESSAGE SERVERS, AND OTHER NETWORK PERIPHERALS TO HELP COMPLETE THE SYSTEM.
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