Airfield lighting - Articles and news items
Issue 6, 2012 / 7 December 2012 /
Writing for this magazine (‘Light-Emitting Diode airfield lighting systems’, International Airport Review, Issue 5, 2012), John D. Bullough, Senior Scientist at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute commented that Light Emitting Diode (LED) airfield lighting was increasingly being used due to the “potential for this technology to produce substantial savings in terms of maintenance and cost.”
In the United Kingdom, both north and south of the Scottish border, LED airfield lighting is becoming more and more commonplace amongst the nation’s airports, which are keen to take advantage of these benefits. Ian Sharp, Lead Engineer at Gatwick Airport, in South East England mirrors Bullough’s view that the technology is highly efficient and superior to the airports’ previous lighting programme of tungsten/halogen fittings: “One of the advant – ages of LED lighting is it lasts longer, with an excess of 50,000 hours or over seven years, whereby tungsten-halogen lamps typically last 2,000 to 5,000,” Sharp says.
LED technology is now standard at Glasgow Airport, after being tried and tested on the taxiway pavements. Gatwick meanwhile, formed part of the Airport Operators Association’s (AOA) sub-group, which produced all the necessary trial documentation to integrate the LED lighting within the airfield. (more…)
Airport news, Homepage promo / 30 October 2012 /
Since its inception in 1947, ADB Airfield Solutions has been a leading innovator in airport lighting and power solutions. Christian Onselaere, CEO and Director of the company since 2005, is the latest man at the helm. We question Christian on ADB’s development and how he sees the future of airfield lighting. (more…)
Issue 5 2012 / 2 October 2012 /
Light-Emitting Diode (LED) airfield lighting is increasingly used at airports in the United States and abroad, largely because of the potential for this technology to produce substantial savings in terms of maintenance and energy costs1. Information about LED lighting systems in terms of performance, cost, and other operations issues is not readily found in a single location. In an effort to gather information about airport experiences and feedback with LED airfield lighting, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies, through its Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP), appointed a panel of experts from airports, industry, government and academia to oversee a synthesis study, which has been recently published as ACRP Synthesis 35: Issues With Use of LED Airfield Light Fixtures. The objective of this synthesis study is to provide documentation about the performance of LED airfield lighting systems, and it is primarily intended for airfield operations managers and airport electrical maintenance staff.
The detective work
The primary source of information for the synthesis was a survey of 22 airports and aviation agencies throughout the U.S. – including commercial, general aviation and military airports – conducted during the summer and fall of 2011. Airport managers and other individuals were asked about their experience with LED airfield lighting, and specific issues about installation, operation, maintenance, economics and their future outlook on this new technology. (more…)
Airport news / 28 September 2012 /
ADB Airfield Solutions has deployed an end-to-end airfield ground lighting solution to renovate Shenzhen Baoan International Airport’s original runway. The renovation has greatly reduced maintenance time at the airport, ensuring continuous, efficient operations of the runway. (more…)
Issue 1 2012 / 7 February 2012 /
Southampton Airport’s vision to become ‘Europe’s leading regional airport’ has provided the motivation for a number of innovate investments in recent years. With a couple of UK firsts amongst the developments, including being the first UK airport to have solar powered LED runway guard lighting, the regional airport with the big ideas is set to continue trend setting in 2012.
For International Airport Review, Steve Thurston, Head of Planning and Development at Southampton Airport talks about solar powered LED runway guard lights, and the catalytic effect their success has had on the airport’s further development.
As the number of aircraft and vehicle movements increased within the aerodrome over the years, regular reviews of signals, signs and markings were undertaken. In Autumn 2009, Steve and his team began researching options for runway guard lights and were keen to explore the latest technology relating to sustainable products. (more…)
Issue 6 2011 / 8 December 2011 /
In the past two decades, the LED (light-emitting diode) has advanced to the point where it is now considered a key lighting technology, not only for its potential to save energy, reduce carbon emissions, and have a long service life, but also for its ability to be ‘tuned’ for optimal visual perception. For airfield lighting applications, technology performance and perception are equally important. In terms of technology performance, energy savings is a significant feature, but so too are the durability and longevity of the lighting system, which may have to operate under extreme weather conditions. In terms of visual perception, a lighting system’s light output, intensity, spectral distribution, and spatial and temporal beam distributions all affect the system’s salience and a pilot’s ability to perceive the light.
Because LED light sources – semiconductors that emit photons – are inherently different from incandescent light sources, their performance and perception do not match those of incandescent lamps. Therefore, before LED lighting can replace incandescent lighting on airfields, two steps must be taken. First, it is crucial to determine whether LED systems can provide equal or greater technology per – formance and visual perception, in order to ensure safety, optimal life-cycle cost savings, and maintenance schedules. This step involves multiple levels of research, both in the laboratory and in the field, and should be conducted for many different types of airfield lighting applications and light source colours. Second, airfield lighting standards must be reviewed and changed as necessary to accommodate LED lighting systems, since existing standards were written with incandescent technology in mind. This step may involve changing fixture design requirements, such as thermal management system components or allowable light source colour boundaries and intensity levels, per research findings. (more…)
Airport news / 10 November 2011 /
There are several systems of individual lamp control on the market, using different technologies and system configurations of lights and control elements. The main application up to now has been to monitor the actual lamp status and to switch logical blocks of lights or Runway Guard Lights (RGL) in one electrical circuit. (more…)
Airport news / 13 October 2010 /
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Randy Babbitt announced today that the number of serious runway incursions at US airports dropped 50 percent from 2009, the second consecutive year that the number of serious incursions was cut in half. (more…)
Issue 5 2010 / 1 October 2010 /
Advanced, energy-efficient lighting is one key element of global research to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. In just the last decade, the light-emitting diode (LED) has progressed from a small indicator light to a complete lighting system able to illuminate spaces such as an entire parking lot. LEDs promise much to be excited about: less energy consumption, reduced lifetime costs and maintenance, rugged design, “tunability”, and non-toxicity. However, implementing LEDs is not as simple as unscrewing one light bulb and replacing it with another. (more…)
Issue 3 2010 / 9 June 2010 /
Is LED airfield lighting right for your airport? It’s a question you may need to ask yourself if you intend to install or replace your airport’s lighting system, and the answer may be easier than you think. For Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), located in central North Carolina, it was a question we recently had to consider and decide upon. This article details the process we went through in considering our answer and the results of our decision regarding light emitting diode (LED) fixtures and supporting systems. (more…)
Airport news / 28 March 2010 /
Firetrace International will be showcasing its full range of FIRETRACE® automatic fire detection and suppression systems at The Airport Show in Dubai that provides stand-alone, around-the-clock protection for electrical cabinets and enclosures upon which airports’ mission-critical services depend. FIRETRACE is the only UL [Underwriters Laboratories] listed and FM [Factory Mutual] approved tube-operated system in the world that is tested as an automatic fire detection and suppression system with, globally, 150,000 successfully completed installations.
Issue 1 2010, Past issues / 22 February 2010 /
The current standards and criteria to implement approach lighting systems are based on the number of aircraft operations, the type of airport operations, and the design criteria of runway operations. These criteria do not address issues such as the safety of passengers and rescue personnel after an aircraft accident/incident.
Airports around the world face enormous challenges to protect people and property during regular aircraft operations. Significant encroachment of airports around populated areas has occurred in the past five decades. For the 31 years from 1976-2007, commercial aviation demand – measured in terms of commercial passenger enplanements in the system – has tripled from 238 to 767 million1.
Approach lighting systems (ALS) provide a critical component of the runway safety systems to allow a pilot to transition from instrument to visual flight during landing. In the United States, there are 2100 runway ends which are equipped with ALS. These systems, while critical for safe landing, also provide a potential issue in the case of an undershoot or overrun on a landing. An aircraft landing in an ALS field is in an environment which has both electrical equipment and structures. There is great potential for damage to the aircraft, injury to passengers and problems for the first responders. (more…)
Issue 5 2009, Past issues / 29 September 2009 /
Airfield Lighting Systems and Navigational Aids are the lifelines thrown to pilots every day. For military pilots, proper operation of these systems touches more than safety of the crew. It affects hundreds of military personnel and the security of the nations they represent. Aircraft entering expeditionary locations carry military members, sustainment for these military members, equipment and machinery needed for operations, strategic and tactical information, and air support for ground troops. The national security of many nations depends on air operations.
Commencement of military airfield operations is not one simple process, but a system of processes ranging from utilising an existing, aged, unlighted asphalt air strip to establishing an air strip from nothing, in an extremely austere environment. Air operations are made possible by ground support, men and women who pre-deploy to build the strips and install navigational aids to support air operations. Packaged lighting systems have proven to be an efficient means to quickly provide this initial and ongoing support, but as with everything, these systems continue to evolve and improve. (more…)
Issue 3 2009, Past issues / 26 May 2009 /
This is an overview of the Airport Guidance Lighting Systems, installed and operating, at Toronto Pearson International Airport, located 25 kilometres from downtown Toronto, Ontario. The airport is Operated by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), under a lease agreement with the Government of Canada. The GTAA has upgraded and improved the entire airport, including two new runways, one new terminal, new cargo facilities, an on-airport people mover system, a co-generation facility, and new airfield lighting and control systems, amongst others.
The Airport Guidance Lighting Systems at Toronto Pearson consist of two ALSF II Approach Lighting Systems, located on Runways 06L and 05. All other runways (15R/33L, 15L/33R, 06R/24L, 23 and 24R) have a SSALR (Short Simplified Approach Lights for Runway) approach and a set of four PAPI’s (Position Approach Path Indicator). The runways also have threshold lights, elevated edge lights and inset high speed exit lights. Four of the five runways include inset centreline lights and two runways boast inset touchdown zone lights. (more…)
Issue 5 2007, Past issues / 28 September 2007 /
The Airport Certified Employee (ACE) – Airfield Lighting Maintenance programme was the second of four certification programmes introduced by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) in 2004. This was the first comprehensive, professional certification programme concentrating on airfield lighting maintenance for airport personnel. The curriculum is based on standards and regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and the US military.
AAAE offers this course in three formats based on the needs of the airport client or individual member. For the individual, AAAE offers the option of self-study. This format is for the certification candidate who wishes to study at his or her own pace before taking the exam. The course material is sent from AAAE headquarters, after which the candidate has up to three years to study the content and complete the proctored certification exam. (more…)