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Abu Dhabi Airports announces completion of runway lighting system upgrade

Abu Dhabi International Airport becomes one of a few with a fully integrated CAT-IIIB Airfield Lighting System

The airfield lighting system of the Southern Runway at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) has been upgraded to a CAT-IIIB system. Abu Dhabi Airports, which is responsible for the management and operation of AUH, says the technology has been integrated with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) systems of the Southern Runway.

The accomplishment was marked with a special ceremony held at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Air Traffic Control Tower, during which Bryan Thompson, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, Tony Douglas, CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, and Ahmed Al Shamsi, acting COO of Abu Dhabi Airports, presented the airport’s Airfield Projects and Airside Operations teams with awards for their exceptional work and commitment to excellence throughout the upgrade process.

Upgrade works to install a CAT-IIIB system on the Northern Runway are now in progress, according to Abu Dhabi Airports.

“The upgrade of the Southern Runway is the result of our commitment to ensuring safe, secure and efficient operations at Abu Dhabi International Airport. This enables us to provide our customers with exceptional service and a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience. Our efforts on and off the tarmac are centered around our desire to transform the experience we offer our customers through enhancing our operations, growing our network, and expanding our leisure and entertainment offerings,” said Bryan Thompson, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports.

The upgrade, combined with other technical updates to the airport’s Airfield Lighting Control Monitoring System (ALCMS), enhances Abu Dhabi International Airport’s ability to continue operations in low visibility conditions, Abu Dhabi Airports said in a statement.

The lighting upgrade is said to significantly mitigate the risk of interruptions to flight schedules, which is expected to result in less aircraft diversions and a smoother travel experience for all passengers arriving, departing or transiting through Abu Dhabi International Airport, the statement said. Abu Dhabi city is said to experience up to 15 days of low visibility annually.

The move is said to be a response to the rising cost of flight diversions, which can amount to half a million dollars per diversion, Abu Dhabi Airports said. The cost includes extra expenditures on fuel, transport and accommodation, as well as increased emissions due to the longer flight path.

The implementation of the upgraded lighting system is also said to complement Abu Dhabi Airports’ commitment to sustainability, and the UAE civil aviation industry’s move toward improving fuel efficiency through reducing the fuel consumption of ultra-long haul aircraft as a result of diversions.

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