As commercial aviation continues to grow around the globe, many airports are facing a rise in traffic as aircraft takeoff and land throughout the day and night. With a higher frequency of movement, an increased need for security is required to ensure that every aircraft and all personnel, crew members, and passengers remain safe during operations. This necessitates the wellbeing and reliability of many types of equipment that aid pilots and the management of traffic. During low visibility conditions, one of the most important forms of equipment that increases traffic safety are airfield ground lighting facilities.
Whether operating within CAT I, II, or III categories, airfield ground lighting is paramount for ease of operation in low visibility conditions so that pilots can effectively direct their aircraft to and from the runway without facing a hazard. To ensure this, ground lighting will need to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis so that it is guaranteed to work with the most optimal level of operation possible.
One of the most basic checks that will be conducted by the maintenance team of an airport is a visual inspection. With this, personnel can quickly determine the light intensity of ground lighting fixtures, and if the light seems dark or dull, it will be replaced. In some instances, lighting will be replaced before it needs to be when there is a schedule for replacing entire groups to ensure equal service lives for ease. While it can be less efficient in terms of part use, replacing a group at the same time can make tracking easier and lower the frequency of conducting replacements.
One of the difficulties of conducting visual inspections is that the human eye is generally only able to determine if there is a loss in lighting intensity when it has decreased by around 30% from its original value. Additionally, a light may seem sufficiently illuminated when inspected from up close, but that same light may not be too visible once viewed from a distance. Visual inspections may also not indicate whether the orientation of the light is correct or not. Beyond such issues, other common causes of light degradation include rubber deposits from landing aircraft, scratches, and more.
To guarantee the best quality of lighting for safety, it is recommended that one utilizes photometric testing to rapidly determine which lights need replacement to save time and effort. In the current day, photometric testing is often conducted by equipment that is mounted onto a vehicle to enhance mobility. With a device such as the Photometrical Airfield Calibration (PAC) unit, runway lighting and taxiway lighting can have luminous intensity measured in real time. With precise data on AGL statuses as well, maintenance teams can operate on a scheduling basis to be more preventative, raising efficiency overall. Since PAC units simply require cleaning the light fixtures, conducting mobile testing, and then workshop testing for failed fittings, the entire maintenance and inspection process is highly streamlined for the benefit of the airport and its maintenance teams.
If you require photometric module parts, ground lighting fixtures, security system components, or other various products to uphold the safety of aviation operations, we have you covered here on Alpha NSN. Alpha NSN is a premier purchasing platform belonging to the ASAP Semiconductor family of websites, and we are unmatched in our ability to save customers time and money while fulfilling countless operational needs. Our inventory consists of over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts that cater to a widely diverse set of industries and applications, and all are ready for purchase at any time. Get in touch with a team member today and see how we can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for all your needs!