Wanganui Airport has become the first airport in New Zealand to use new LED technology for approach lighting, as part of Airways New Zealand upgrade plans for the airport.
Airways and the Wanganui Airport announced last week that the newly installed approach lights had been cleared to operate. They are part of a ‘whole of service’ upgrade of the aviation lighting systems at Wanganui.
"We are pleased with the work completed to date in upgrading the Airport lighting systems," Matt Edmonds, Chairman of the Wanganui Airport Management Board, said. "Airways commitment to this project has been fantastic and we in Wanganui should feel pretty pleased about leading the way in New Zealand when it comes to alternative solutions to the provision of new systems," he added.
Rob Irwin of Airways New Zealand said he felt the partnership with Wanganui Airport had helped Airways to look at new solutions. "We are totally satisfied that what we have provided, and will operate, for the Airport and believe it represents a great solution for regional airports around New Zealand. The input from the local airport staff was most appreciated and we worked well together to find new ways of providing services in situations where income streams are somewhat restricted - overall a great result," he concluded.
The upgrade includes, to date, new wiring for the runway lights, refurbished glide slope indication equipment (PAPI) and new approach lights. The next steps will see the installation of a new standby generator and we are also looking at a remote control system for the lights, allowing pilots to have the lights activated from Christchurch while still in the air.
In addition to these services the Airport has recently commissioned an automatic weather broadcast system (AWIB) allowing pilots to get accurate and up to date weather information for the airport before they arrive to land.
"Overall the recent and planned works will result in securing Wanganui's ability to operate both commercial passenger services and aero medical services in all but the most extreme of weather conditions, and this has been achieved with great commitment from Airways," Mr Edmonds concluded.
All the upgrades are funded through user charges, representing no increase in costs to the Wanganui ratepayers. The systems will be operated locally and maintained by Airways New Zealand.