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SAFETY & SECURITY Last modified on December 5, 2013

One vision

Airport World rounds-up the latest airfield safety news from across the globe.

Adelaide opens new ATC high-tech tower

Australian deputy prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has officially opened Adelaide Airport’s new 44-metre-tall ATC tower, which brings its air traffic control systems into the digital era.

The A$16.9 million ($15.2m) complex replaces a 21-metre-high tower that dated back to 1983. Airport managing director, Mark Young, says Airservices Australia and the airport had worked together on the project for several years. “Having a modern air traffic control facility matches our commitment to operate Australia’s most modern airport,” he enthuses.


Satellite-based precision approaches at Frankfurt Airport

German air navigation service provider, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, is pushing forward with the implementation of satellite-based precision landing at Frankfurt Airport.

In May, DFS and the Frankfurt airport operator, Fraport, signed a co-operation agreement for the installation of a Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) for Category I operations.

As a result of the deal, a GBAS station manufactured by Honeywell will be installed at the gateway in 2014, ensuring Frankfurt’s status as the first major international European airport to be equipped with the technology.

Earlier this year, DFS and Indra Navia implemented a GBAS trial station at Frankfurt Airport to test the technology and to support the validation of ICAO standards up to Category III approaches as part of the SESAR project 15.3.6.

“With GBAS, DFS is advancing a future technology and is an innovation pioneer worldwide. We are making an important contribution to increasing efficiency,” explains chairman and CEO, Klaus-Dieter Scheurle.

“Since we introduced the first CAT-I-certified GBAS station in Germany at Bremen Airport in 2012, this technology has successfully proved its practicability.”

It is envisaged that GBAS technology will eventually replace instrument landing system (ILS) technology.

The costs for the installation and operation of the ground station for CAT I operations at Frankfurt will run to about €5 million.

According to DFS, the biggest advantage of GBAS is the number of different approach procedures – 49 arrivals destined for various runways – that can be simultaneously used with just one station.


Airfield enhancements

A number of major gateways across Europe and North America used the summer months to start or complete major upgrades to runways, aprons and taxiways.

The €26 million make-over of Heathrow’s southern runway is one step closer after the completion of the replacement of the asphalt surface, and the start of the final installation of the new lights and cabling.

After a decade of continuous pounding by millions of aircraft taking off and landing, the runways at Heathrow are undergoing vital refurbishment to ensure they are safe and in good order.

And as the airport cannot close a runway during the working day, the logistically complex operation happens during the night and on one runway at a time. The work began on the southern runway in April; the northern runway will be resurfaced next year using the same process.

Over 150 construction workers using approximately 80 heavy items of plant and equipment have worked for almost four months to excavate and relay 22,000 tonnes of asphalt – the runway’s hard-wearing surface.

With this part of the project completed, the next phase – to complete the installation of around 130,000 metres of lighting cable and over 1,000 Aeronautical Ground Lights (AGLs) – began at the beginning of August. These AGLs help guide the pilots during poor visibility and are fitted within the surface of the Runway.

During each working night more than 1,000 cones mark out a temporary road system along the length of the runway to allow safe passage of vehicles and machinery.

Andrew Mitchell, senior project manager, said: “We’ve successfully laid and grooved the new surface and now we’re cracking on with laying the thousands of metres of new cable and connecting hundreds of lights.”

Airfield safety at Boston Logan has been enhanced with the installation of an arrestor bed on a new 470ft extension to safety area of Runway 33L.

The surface of the extension, built on a pier extending out into Boston harbour, is made of crushable concrete, which is designed to halt aircraft that overrun the runway.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood described the new crushable concrete area as “an important backstop”.

The engineered material arresting system (EMAS) bed is designed to stop an aircraft as large as a B747 if it moves past the end of the runway.

In the US, EMAS beds are approved by the FAA at airports where water, city streets or other factors limit space for safety areas at the end of a runway. They have successfully stopped eight aircraft from overrunning runways since 1999.

Massport began the $63 million project in 2011, using $50 million in FAA Airport Improvement (AIP) funding and $13 million of its own funds.

As part of the runway work, the FAA worked closely with Massport to speed up the installation of an upgraded instrument landing system to help guide pilots in strong crosswinds and winter operations when snow is on the ground.

The new system also serves as a backup to another Category II/III approach.

In January 2009, an ESCO EMAS arrestor bed stopped a US Airways Bombardier CRJ-200 overrunning the runway at Yeager Airport in Charleston, North Carolina.


Fire power

Oshkosh Airport Products Group will showcase its Oshkosh Striker Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicle at this year’s inter airport Europe trade fair in Munich.

On display at outdoor booth E78, the Oshkosh Striker 6 x 6 is one of five apparatus recently delivered to Birmingham Airport in the UK.

“Our Striker 6 x 6 provides a new level of ARFF emergency response capabilities and we’re delighted to feature it at inter airport Europe,” says Jeff Resch, vice president and general manager for Oshkosh Airport Products.

“The Birmingham Striker is notable in that it is among a group of five vehicles representing the first Strikers on duty in Great Britain.”

The Striker on display at inter airport Europe is equipped with a Snozzle high-reach extendable turret that can penetrate an aircraft fuselage in the event of an aircraft incident, allowing direct and close range access to an onboard fire.

Other features include a vehicle data recorder (to catalogue the driver’s actions when responding to an emergency), and a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera.


Tyres and lights

Aéroports de Paris (ADP) reveals that it uses high-pressure cleaners to blast nearly seven tonnes of tyre deposits off the runways at Paris CDG each year.

It says it uses high-pressure cleaners capable of processing 16,000sqm of tarmac a night to remove the rubber twice or three times yearly.

The machines are also used to spray a solution of sodium bicarbonate to clean ‘gum deposits’ from nearly 25,000 runway lights annually.

“The runway lights of Paris-Charles de Gaulle are cleaned with a new projection system of sodium bicarbonate, with spectacular results while meeting environmental standards,” enthuses ADP’s Arnaud Guihard, ADP’s maintenance manager, CDG. “This is the same product used in cooking or by our grandmothers for cleaning the house.”


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