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New landing guidance system installed at airport

Team effort: Lester Nelson, the Bermuda Aviation Authority’s chief executive officer, left, stands with Wayne Furbert, the transport minister, as they inspect the newly installed Instrument Landing System and Distance Measuring Equipment, at LF Wade International Airport last week (Photograph supplied)

Landing systems used to help pilots navigate their approach to the island’s airport in times of poor visibility have been upgraded.

A government spokeswoman said the previous Instrument Landing System and Distance Measuring Equipment facility at the L F Wade International Airport was 20 years old and had come to the end of its useful life.

The new system, which cost $900,000, was installed in March after an inspection by the US Federal Aviation Administration’s airborne flight inspection team.

The spokeswoman said it will continue to minimise traveller disruption caused by aircraft requiring to divert to the US in the event that landings are not possible in Bermuda owing to reduced visibility.

An ILS/DME is used by pilots and air traffic controllers to ensure the safe landing of aircraft by providing vertical, horizontal and distance-from-touchdown guidance through specific frequency signal transmissions from the equipment to the aircraft during the final stages of its approach.

The system is one of several different landing aid technologies used in Bermuda, and assists aircraft using approaches from the east.

High ground at Ferry Reach prevents the technology being effectively used for approaches made by aircraft from the west, where alternative landing aid technology is employed.

Due to the proximity of the new equipment to the airport runway, a significant amount of the work was required to be completed at night to avoid disruption of regular air operations.

Lester Nelson, the chief executive officer of Bermuda Airport Authority, said: “Completion of this major project has been a true team effort, and would not have been possible without the assistance of many airport authority employees including air traffic engineering, air traffic control, airport maintenance services, Bermuda Weather Service, and project leadership staff.

“We are also grateful to a number of local contractors who provided valuable services during the civil works phase of the project.”

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Published May 03, 2024 at 12:40 pm (Updated May 08, 2024 at 8:29 pm)

New landing guidance system installed at airport

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