The first radio-controlled runway in Antrim

Slemish Airfield, a private landing strip near Ballymena, County Antrim has recently installed a new airfield lighting system supplied by Airfield Lighting Systems UK Limited (ALS) in Wickford, Essex.

The new lighting covers the 765m long runway and apron.

Slemish Airfield lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) and the lighting installation which is environmentally friendly and considerate compliments this.

The VISTA System from ALS that was installed as a complete package consisting of lights, control gear, cable and all components required to provide a turnkey solution.

The new LED lights can be remotely activated from the approaching aircraft when five miles distant from the picturesque landing strip and these will continue to operate for 15 minutes before automatically switching off.  The signal to activate the lights can be sent by VHF from the aircraft radio (the frequency is adjustable for use in other countries), by mobile phone or an APP on a tablet.

The Vista System is a standalone system and was designed to provide the benefits of LED lighting to visual approach aerodromes such as regional airports, airstrips and military air bases. It is a reliable and flexible product, being easy to fit in any kind of infrastructure.

Manufactured from high-quality polycarbonate and aluminium components the VISTA lights are fully IP66 certified, tough and durable.

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Number of Fittings installed

Since the low energy LED light source is a low current device there is no need for traditional 6.6A circuits and more traditional CCR controls. Moreover, the LED being a direct current device, the power distribution circuit is greatly simplified using a DC constant current power supply.

This concept also eliminates the need for series circuit transformers with their losses and expense.  A specific feature of the product includes a device to ensure the continuity of the circuit upon failure of any single light unit as part of the future proof design.

A total of 59 LED lights were installed for the runway, threshold/end, taxiway and PAPI fittings.  Commenting on the new installation the Project Manager for the Project said that the Vista System was easy to install, and he was delighted with the results. The LED’s which look really impressive from the air, will be a great help to pilots using the airfield.

The VISTA system can be turned on using VHF radio from the cockpit of the aircraft.