The Leading Lights of Change

The aviation sector is always challenging its carbon footprint and its effect on climate change. Exciting changes are being implemented in airports and airline infrastructures and capital equipment. These include reduced emissions made by modern carrier fleets and the carbon-neutral planning by major UK airports.

Runway and taxiway lighting, is responsible for a relatively small percentage of the energy used at an airport, however it has continued the drive for greener operations from the terminal to the runway.

Taxiway light fittings such as the ZA280 which utilise tungsten halogen lamps on a taxiway centre line circuit are a classic example. When operated at maximum brilliancy each fitting would consume approximately 45W of power excluding the various losses throughout the AGL transformers, primary connectors and AGL cable. The development of an equivalent ZA280 unit using LED technology now only uses 10 watts of power from appropriate power control system and CCRs.

Airfield guidance signs, including taxiway and mandatory sign boxes also require significant amounts of light in order to give sufficient illumination. First achieved by the use of tungsten halogen lamps and followed since by cold cathode and fluorescent tubes, the pursuit for the most energy efficient airfield signs has now also moved to LED technology.

atg’s in-house development team have adapted their existing expertise in LED light fittings to their range of Clearway signs. Here the challenge is to sufficiently illuminate the larger area of the sign fascia whilst also providing cost effective benefits over the existing technologies. The brilliancy of the LED sign exceeds the requirements of international standards such as ICAO, FAA and CAP168, the power requirement once again is lower when compared against fluorescent tubes which is already half that of tungsten halogen equivalents.

The technology is also able to be a genuine replacement for Tungsten technology being able to meet both the colour requirements and the absolute extremes of operating temperature ranges from -30°C to +55°C. The LED arrays also come with life expectancies in excess of 75,000 hours at maximum brilliancy providing not only lower running costs but also the further advantage of significantly reduced maintenance costs.

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