Eight hundred kilometres. That is the distance between Delhi and Kashmir. It is also the total length of new cables installed at the Delhi airport to overhaul its ground lighting system.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) will get a brand new integrated terminal by next month. Keeping in the mind the state-of-the-art Terminal 3, which will cater to both international and domestic flights, other technical systems at the airport are also in for a major overhaul.
As part of the renovation of the airport ground lighting (AGL) system, 8,700 new light fittings, 400 km of conduits and nearly 800 km of cables are being installed. The ground lighting system is the primary visual aid for pilots landing at the airport during night or poor visibility conditions.
The IGI Airport is spread over 5,000 acres and has three operational runways, apart from a large number of taxiways and taxi lanes. The ground lights are colour coded to help pilots identify runways and taxiways by the colour and direction of the lights.
“The system covers the centre line, edges and the touchdown zones of the runways, taxiways and apron taxi lanes. Unlike smaller airports, the lighting system at IGIA is much more complex as we also have CAT IIIB Instrument Landing Systems (ILS),” said a spokesman for Delhi International Airport Ltd, the private airport operator.
The lighting system is controlled by the airport’s air traffic control and the brightness of the lights is increased or decreased according to the weather conditions. “The entire runway and taxiway lighting is provided with backup power through standby generators," the spokesman said.
The upcoming terminal will have 48 contact stands with special lighting system to guide the aircraft to stop at designated stop position.