SDI Awarded Public Address System Upgrade at O’Hare International Airport

MBE-certified SDI to Oversee Complex System Modernization in Live Airport Environment

CHICAGO, April 10, 2017 – SDI (SDI Presence LLC), the mission-critical IT systems integrator, has been selected to provide a turnkey digital upgrade of the public address (PA) system at O’Hare International Airport. The system upgrade, which covers both general and emergency announcements throughout the airport, is designed to improve airport safety, accelerate incident response times, and enhance customer experience.

O’Hare International Airport is one of the busiest in the nation for passenger traffic serving approximately 77 million passengers per year.  With more than 867,000 aircraft arriving and departing on an annual basis, O’Hare International Airport generates approximately $38 billion in economic impact for Chicago, region, and state. O’Hare is owned by the City of Chicago and operated through the City’s Department of Aviation (CDA).

As prime contractor, MBE-certified SDI leads a team of industry leaders including PA system design firm Cline & Associates, Inc; PA systems integrator Pentegra Systems; airport-focused project management consultants AVAirPros; and electrical contractors Pace and Cable Communications (CCI).

The SDI Team will conduct an evaluation of the airport’s existing PA systems including amplifiers, speakers, speaker cables, ambient sensors, and designated PA coverage zones. These existing systems will be upgraded to current hardware/software components; including text for display on a video monitor, text to audio, and audio paging. The new menu-based system will be capable of dispatching messages and other commonly used paging features via computer terminals, analog dial-in phones, and jet bridge microphones. The comprehensive system will cover airport terminals, pedestrian walkways, transportation centers, parking, Clear Channel digital display screens, and “back of house” private airport areas.

Configured to allow for future customized programming, the enhanced enterprise-wide PA system will meet all ADA Compliance regulations and CDA Design and Construction Standards – including a zone-controlled visual Paging System for the hearing impaired. The project also includes a failover power conditioning system, integration with the airport’s command center, and testing/ on-the-job training for airport-designated personnel. The upgrade must be delivered without interruption to the functionality of the airport’s existing systems.  The SDI Team will also provide long-term maintenance and support of the enterprise system.

The contract expands a successful 20-year relationship between the CDA and SDI, which was recently renewed as the airport’s security technology integrator of record. The SDI Team will provide an on-site team of airport technology and operations veterans, to provide project leadership, subject matter expertise, and system configuration tailored to O’Hare’s operations. SDI has a proven track record of deploying complex security systems in live airport environments. SDI’s hybrid of security and IT professionals are versed in aviation standards including Transportation Security Agency (TSA) Regulations (TSARs) parts 1542 and 1544 and FAA Regulations (FAR) 139; the firm is an active member of aviation and security technology industry groups including ACI, AAAE ALEAN and ASIS, all of which informs the firm’s trusted advisory services for its portfolio of aviation clients.

“Our understanding of O’Hare’s complex technical environment will allow us to deliver a low-risk public address system without disrupting the airport’s current operations,” states Jack Hartman, President and Chief Operating Officer of SDI. “We appreciate the opportunity to assist the CDA in evolving another one of its core technology systems, and our team is excited to play a part as Chicago leads the aviation industry in its use of technology to better their customer’s experience.”


About SDI (SDI Presence LLC)

Mission-critical systems integrator SDI delivers intelligent technology solutions to ensure client operational performance, security, and revenue generation. With a 20-year corporate resume, SDI addresses the higher IT demands of critical environments to deliver zero downtime, enhanced security, and risk mitigation strategies. SDI is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), with a portfolio of clients includes some of the nation’s largest airports, commercial real estate portfolios and national banks and financial services organizations. SDI delivers deep technical expertise with an agile delivery model focused on complete customer satisfaction. Visit us at and follow us on LinkedIn: SDI Presence and Twitter: @SDIPresence

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