Evening flights update - lights, camera action
27 Apr 2016
Following the recent completion of the runway and lighting infrastructure project, Airways has been carrying out extensive testing and calibrating of the new runway, taxiway, approach and apron lights during the day. Then, on Wednesday night (27 April), the big moment arrived when the full lighting package was switched on for the first time in darkness. It was quite a sight!
Airways then commenced after-dark flight testing via a helicopter. The helicopter flew at varying altitudes around the airfield, flying aircraft approach and departure paths repeatedly while the Airways flight inspectors on board checked the lights with specialist testing equipment. The flight manoeuvres were closely monitored and managed by Airways’ air traffic control team in the tower.
The lighting system performed as expected during testing, and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) inspectors were also on site to monitor and oversee the testing. Further flight tests and fine-tuning of the lights will occur today as part of Airways’ comprehensive testing and calibration regime. These tests are being carried out in preparation for handover of the lighting system to airlines for their own flight tests between April 30 and May 15.
More about the lights
About 200 lights have been installed or repositioned, including Precision Approach Path Indicator lights (PAPI) lights, and touchdown approach, runway centreline, runway edge and threshold lights.
Industry standard LED (light emitting diode) lights have been installed – key benefits being brightness, resiliency, reduced maintenance and power savings.
The lighting project has been part of a wider $18 million runway infrastructure upgrade, which has included widening the runway from 30m to 45m and resurfacing it with a 110mm asphalt overlay.