Airport Business

FEB-MAR 2018

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AIRFIELD LIGHTING 20 airportbusiness February/March 2018 By Joe Petrie Light a Path to Success on the Airfield New equipment and technology provides new ways for airports to tackle airfield lighting maintenance. Controllers were having issues using the touch screen system to control airfield lighting, so BGR looked into it and found the Windows XP system controlling the airfield lighting was at the end of life for Microsoft support. "It also left it vulnerable to viruses and mal- ware," said Amy Quam, assistant operations manager at BGR. "At that point, we realized we didn't have probably much longer with the system in order to keep it operational, so we decided to upgrade the computer system." BGR upgraded the computers, monitors and radios used in the system. It was an easier fix than full replacement of the system. It cost $34,000 as opposed to about $500,000. "We contacted the manufacturer and dis- cussed it with them and we also have an engi- neering consultant who looked into it as well," said. "We realized at that point that we could get away with just doing the computer upgrades and then in the future in a little bit of time, we're going to look at replacing the entire system." The biggest challenge for BGR during the upgrade was making sure the runway remained operational, Quam said. The upgrade took two days and was completed May 4. "We did the work during daylight hours but we always have the potential for bad weather or fog to move in and at that point we'd need the airfield lighting," she said. "So in order to combat that challenge, we had one of our electricians in the tower along with the installer and the other one was at the lighting vault so he had the ability to manually turn on the lighting if needed. AN UPGRADE TO THE AIRFIELD Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport (GOK) in Guthrie, Oklahoma, completed an upgrade to its runway lighting system in December. Schellon Stanley, airport director at GOK, said the $343,060 project included upgrading runway lighting from incandescent to LED lights, replac- ing the wind cone, replacing the rotating beacon on the airfield and adding exit taxiway signage. The FAA provided 90 percent of the funding for the project, with the remaining 10 percent split between the cities of Edmond, Oklahoma and Guthrie. "Before the project, the lights came on when they were cued up by the pilots," Stanley said. "Now it's really neat because they come on at dusk. They're operated by a photocell and stay on low intensity all night long. When the pilots come in, they can keep them on low or dial up the intensity five to seven clicks." GOK replaced the stake-mounted runway lights in favor of base-mounted LED fixtures to tackle maintenance issues, Stanley said. "If we had a light go out and it wasn't just a light bulb, we had to dig up this light fixture and figure out if it was the transformer and plug it in and unplug it," she said. "And if we couldn't find it there, then we had to call in an electrician and track it up and down the runway. "Once you found it and it was just that light, it was easy and just a matter of manual labor, but we'd get to the point where we'd have a section of lighting out and we'd have to call someone in to do that." A couple of weeks before the 45 day project commenced, Stanley said the entire lighting sys- tem for the airfield went down. At that time, lead- ers opted to not fix the lights because it wasn't W hen a computer screen started to dim in the tower at Bangor International Airport (BGR) in early 2017, staff discovered something in the airfield lighting system, which required some proactive measures. Bangor International Airport discovered its computer system for the airfield lighting system was vulnerable to cyber attacks when the system started to have issues in early 2017 Tony Delmonaco

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