ADB Safegate transforms the runway at Goma International Airport
Goma International Airport (GOM) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a strategic airport used by MONUSCO, a United Nations mission for peacekeeping in the region.
The airport is operated by Régie de Voies Aériennes (RVA), the Congolese Airport Authority and leading airport operator in the DRC. Since the volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in 2002 when the airport was overrun with lava, operations had become very limited. To upgrade GOM with efficient airfield ground lighting (AGL) systems and optimise operations MONUSCO selected ADB Safegate.
“The volcanic eruption in 2002 saw the Goma International Airport overrun with lava and ashes covering nearly one-third of the main runway making it impossible for large aircrafts to land and disrupting daytime operations. Night time operations were also affected due to damage caused to the ground lighting,” said Eddy Malumba Kakese, Technical Director of RVA (Régie des Voies Aériennes).
“ADB Safegate has been our long-standing partner providing airfield lighting systems and airfield solutions ever since the first airports were constructed and commissioned in the 1950s. Now, with the new airfield ground lighting (AGL) system, 9 out of 54 aerodromes have been re-equipped. With the contribution of MONUSCO and World Bank’s financial aid, we aim to rehabilitate not just the runway, but also the taxiway and parking ground for seamless operations.”
“MONUSCO will be moving its headquarters to Goma, which made it critical to upgrade the airport to the latest standards and make it functional for night time operation. Not only was the new airfield lighting system and rehabilitation of the airport important to our missions, it will have a big impact on the economic development in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said UN Project Manager Engr. Jacques Tshimpanga.
As part of the first phase of the project, ADB Safegate provided various solutions such as airfield lighting systems, generators, floodlights, control systems, constant current regulators (CCRs) and commissioning services to configure accuracy for installed systems. Setting up of these systems has enabled night operations which has increased throughput at the airport. The second phase of the project is underway with the installation of a stop bar utilising ADB Safegate’s Individual Lamp Monitoring and Control System (ILCMS) with Airfield Smart Power (ASP) addressable airfield lighting technology. The introduction of the stop bar will increase operational safety and efficiency by relieving congestion on the taxiway to reduce the risk of runway incursions, shorten taxi time and save on fuel.
“We offer our customers expertise in key domains of airport operations, including services. As a long-time partner of the UN, we worked with them from the initiative phase to ensure the solutions offered to Goma International Airport matched its every need. We provided support to secure financing, and our team worked endlessly to deliver and install a state-of-the-art intelligent lighting system to ensure safe and efficient operations and flexibility to optimise capacity and throughput,” said Christian Onselaere, CEO, ADB SAFEGATE.
ADB Safegate was selected as the preferred partner after a rigorous round of selection of bidders and traders registered with the UN. ADB Safegate has in the past been responsible for modernising operations at other airports in DRC including Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Mbuji-Mayi, Kindu, Bunia, and Kisangani.