Between February and March 2013 atg airports conducted a survey to gather opinions, attitudes and current or future planned activities from global airport engineering professionals regarding the implementation of airfield ground lighting (AGL) light emitting diode (LED) products.
In total, one hundred and ninety nine (199) respondents provided answers, with ninety six (96) of them saying that they are currently testing / installing / using LEDs in an AGL project, and seventy (70) saying that they have current plans to specify / implement AGL LEDs within the next 6-24 months.
There was a global mix of respondents with the top locations represented being:-
25% UK, 21% Europe, 14% USA & Canada, 12% Central Asia, 11% Eastern Europe / Russia, 9% Middle East.
Respondent’s job titles included 36.7% Electrical Engineer, 20.7% Airport Consultant, 20.4% AGL Supplier, 13.5% Airside Operations Manager, 5.2% Airside Electrical, Maintenance & Installer, 3.5% Airport Authority or Regulator.
From the final findings, the key headlines include:-
- ‘Best Practice’ required from Manufacturers to promote understanding on all potential AGL LED issues.
Manufactures have a responsibility to educate the client about what they are planning on buying. This came out in the Totally Unacceptable and Barriers to Implementation survey responses
- 35.7% increase in Global AGL LED projects expected by 2015
This data is commercially sensitive and therefore retained by atg airports, and is not part of the key findings report. However, the figures were derived from one hundred and seven (107) respondents revealing future spending planned activities, seventy two (72) respondents identifying their actual AGL LED product future requirements and one hundred and thirty five (135) respondents listing their future planned project locations.
- AGL LED is positively accepted by key airside user groups.
The key airside user group segments include Maintenance staff, Pilots, Installers, Airlines and Consultants.
- AGL LED meets or exceeds 87% of airport respondent's expectations
81 respondents offered their opinions to this question. With the rest of the responses being 10.4% saying that AGL LED underperformed, and 4% saying don’t know and 4% saying the following
- Mixed bag- some met expectations eventually, others failed miserably
- Don’t Know
- Although we have had failures, they have lowered maintenance inputs, but issues with smart switches defeats the use of passive LEDs
- Call to regulatory bodies to produce standards for AGL LED new power supply systems
A number of respondents expressed their concern that the current regulatory standards apply to 6.6amp circuits. To gain maximum benefit from the use of AGL LED, Primary circuit currents need to be lowered and therefore a review of standards is suggested.
- CO2 reduction focus required for airport operators
By issuing their plans and activities for carbon dioxide emission reduction, UK Airside Operators will help their customers (the airlines) to comply with the UK Government Aviation Policy Framework March 2013. This identifies the need for CO2 reduction transparency for their end users to make an informed purchase decision
2.54 The Government strongly supports greater transparency. The Civil Aviation Act, which received Royal Assent on 19 December 2012, contains new information functions for the CAA. These provide scope to increase and improve the quality of information available to the public, including on the environmental effects of civil aviation in the UK and measures taken to limit them, so that environmental performance in relation to CO2 emissions can become a factor informing consumer decisions. The new information functions for the CAA are discussed further at paragraph 4.9.
- Operational Quality Issues Need to be Understood
Including the affect of ambient temperature on LED operations and mechanical / sealing issues which can lead to AGL LED failure. In the survey Mechanical / Sealing issues were voted as the top Totally Unacceptable issue.