The North Canadian Tsay Keh Dene First Nation community has kitted out its remote rural airfield with a solar LED lighting system to help emergency flights reach their village after dusk.
The new airfield lights, supplied by Carmanah Technologies, will help medical and supply aircrafts navigate their way to and from the remote village, which is located on the northern end of the Williston Reservoir in British Columbia.
The First Nation community relies on a 4,500ft runway to move supplies, groceries and communities to nearby towns.
However, with the closest hospital five hours away by road, one of the runways more critical uses is for medical evacuations and supplies.
Before the solar lighting was installed, the absence of runway edge and threshold lighting after dusk meant that the Tsay Keh Dene community would have to wait until morning before medevac crews would arrive.
Now, the solar LED airfield lights provides the community, as well as the neighbouring communities of Williston Reservoir a safe runway after dusk for air traffic and supplies.
The chief of the Tsay Keh Dene community Dennis Izony said that the solar-powered airfield project is one that the community has requested for some time.
He said: “We discuss improvements at community meetings, and the airfield lighting project always comes up. It was a fast and simple solution for something that will greatly benefit the safety of the community and pilots.”
Carmanah Solar LED Airfield Lighting systems are used in remote and extreme environments where reliability and trouble-free operation are required.
Ted Lattimore, CEO of Carmanah, added: “The Tsay Keh Dene Nation represents the first installation of a deployable solar-powered runway in British Columbia, yet given the abundance of rural airfields that service communities throughout Northern Canada, it won’t be the last. We couldn’t anticipate a more appropriate application for these lights.”