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September 26, 2006

LED Technology for Airport Visual Aid Lighting – ALSTOM Aerospace Airports

The ZA216L, a new taxiway edge light that utilises LED technology will provide a 'quantum leap' in performance.

By cms admin

The ZA216L exhibits many new features and concepts when compared to existing incandescent based technology. The three high-power ‘luxeon’ light emitting diodes developed by Lumidrives Ltd can produce enough light from 3W whereas the existing technology would need at least 30W per light. For airport operators, a 90% reduction in power will provide considerable savings in infrastructure and operating costs for their visual aid lighting.

Also, the projected life of the ZA216L is expected to be in excess of 50,000 hours, and thus increases the interval between maintenance from one to eight years. When compared to existing technology, the LED product will provide a considerable saving in resources for the airport operator.


The ZA216L project represents a partnership between a number of different suppliers. ALSTOM Kidsgrove has devised a dedicated power converter that will enable the LED airfield light to operate from the airfield circuit power infrastructure. The ZA216L will match the response performance of existing technology and create the different intensity levels that are specified by international airfield standards.

The power converter will also lead to other LED developments that will provide functions and applications that are not currently feasible with the existing technology.

The release of the ZA216L is timely as the CAA have recently issued a ‘NOTAL’ that will allow UK airports to implement LED technology on their taxiways after consultation and trials with industry working groups.

Manchester Aiport and Oxford Airport have installed 80 of the new ZA216L taxiway edge lights and pilots have already reported an improvement in operations.

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