Australian air navigation services provider Airservices has commenced improvement works on the instrument landing system (ILS) at Melbourne Airport to provide pilots with enhanced navigation during low visibility conditions.
Radio navigation aid ILS supports the movement of air traffic into the airport during fog or bad weather.
Primary works under the new upgrade project include increasing the size of the localiser antenna array at the southern end of the main runway, Runway 16.
The localiser is one of two key transmitters of ILS that provides pilots with lateral guidance to the runway.
The project will be completed by mid November with re-certification in two phases scheduled to conclude by mid-May 2014.
Airservices Projects and Engineering executive general manager Mark Rodwell said that the upgrade to the ILS will improve accuracy and assurance for pilots to navigate to the runway when visibility is reduced.
"The work will enable Melbourne Airport to continue providing a Category IIlB landing service after this upgrade and re-certification are complete," Rodwell said.
"A Category IIlB ILS allows a reduced decision making height for pilots down to 50ft above the ground in the event of low visibility," he noted.
Melbourne Airport is the only airport in country that is equipped with a Category lll ILS.
During the works, the existing ILS will be removed from service, and pilots will rely on other navigation aids such as VHF omni-directorial range (VOR), area navigation (RNAV) and Smart Tracking (satellite-based technology) for approaches to the main runway.
The latest project is part of Airservices' ongoing programme to upgrade and replace ILS equipment across Australia to ensure reliability and integrity of the landing systems until 2025.
Image: Melbourne Airport is the only airport in country that is equipped with a Category lll ILS.