June 1, 2009
With four dispatch centers and 33 remote sites spanning a vast triangle from Brownsville, TX to Mobile, AL and out into the Gulf of Mexico, Air Logistics LLC (a Bristow Company) of New Iberia, LA, is a leading provider of helicopter transportation services to the oil and gas industry. Air Logistics relies upon a digital network of Telex Radio Dispatch equipment for flight-following communications with their aircraft.
“Our remote stations are equipped with IP223 VOIP adaptors on an MPLS network,” reports Pete Talbot of Air Logistics, “tied back to our C-Soft consoles. We have six consoles at our central dispatch facility in New Iberia, LA, two in Patterson, LA, two in Intracoastal City, LA, and two in Galveston, TX. We can control our radios at any of these locations, with full redundancy built-in. If we lose connectivity in New Iberia, we can have a dispatcher in Patterson or Galveston pick up the communications seamlessly.”
“We previously used signal adaptors running via dedicated analog phone lines. We had problems with hum and other typical analog issues, but going digital resolved that.” Talbot adds. “More importantly, the IP223/C-Soft setup gives us complete flexibility; our operators can operate any radio from any console, which is a very big plus. When an operator goes on break, we can pair-up different radios together. They can pick and choose what console controls which radio. Plus, the interface is user-friendly. New operators can be trained-in in a couple of hours. That has helped us out a great deal in terms of streamlining communications. The flexibility of our Telex system is awesome. We use it through whatever medium is available at any particular site, via satellite systems, through the Internet, on a private network, etc. In the offshore world we’re very limited when it comes to communications and connectivity, so this is essential. The deployment of the digital consoles has also given us alternatives in the area of disaster readiness that were previously unavailable to us. This is a huge comfort as Hurricane season approaches. ”
In addition, Air Logistics also use the Network Recorder software. “That helps a lot,” Talbot says, “ in reviewing communications with aircraft, and for training purposes. The days of time-consuming tape searches are long gone for us.”
Talbot also added “We also run a network-monitoring program on a server attached to the network. We know instantly when connectivity to a radio site goes down, whereas before we would be in the dark until a pilot called in on another radio and told us. Now, we can measure performance and troubleshoot malfunctions before any pilot knows about them. Coupled with the Telex equipment, we have full control and full redundancy at all times.”