Mining projects and military forces are often forced to operate in remote locations. Thus, heliports with 24/7 access are required to ensure continuity of operations. Heliports that operate even during the night need reliable lighting solutions to eliminate redundancy and provide adequate visual guidance.
If your heliport is located where the electrical grid is unavailable and unreliable, then you might want to consider Signalight solutions. The lighting solutions are used in big projects like the newest Ma’aden mining project. Remember that a heliport lighting system is synonymous to pilot safety, and you must therefore be meticulous when selecting lighting.
Here are tips to help you pick the right solution for your needs.
1. Identify your needs
The kind of application of your heliport will inform on the type of lighting you will need. So, first, highlight your lighting needs and then explore the different lighting solutions. This way, you will identify one that best suits your heliport application.
Some of the available heliport lighting solutions include surface level, elevated, temporary, and helidecks.
Surface level heliports could be built on a water surface or the ground level. The recommended solutions include Final Approach and Take Off (FATO) lights, Touchdown and Lift-off area (TLOF) lights, obstruction lights, and floodlights around the TLOF, to mention a few.
Some of the recommended solutions for elevated heliports, which are located above the ground level, include Touchdown and Lift-off area (TLOF) lights, Final Approach and Take Off (FATO) lights, illuminated wind direction indicator, and heliport beacon, to mention a few.
Ensure that you get the right lights for your heliport to ensure adequate directional guidance.
2. ICAO compliance
Ensure that as you search for heliport lighting solutions, they are compliant with the international aviation requirements. That is why you should avoid the low-cost products and go for Award-winning Vista systems from brands like Signalight.
All lights in the market should have special optics to enhance pilot safety. In addition, the light output and chromaticity of the solutions should be compliant. Non-compliant products could emit the lights upwards, which should not be the case, as the resulting visual range is usually limited.
3. Consider your location
Your location in terms of access to the electricity grid matters when choosing lighting solutions for a heliport. Your location will inform the heliport system. For instance, if your power is reliable, then it is recommended you work with a universal mains system.
If your heliport is a critical infrastructure, you want to find a solution that will go uninterrupted. Thus, you will have to consider options such as adding an uninterruptable power system. Some people also use the solar backup to ensure the heliport is running.
If the heliport location does not have access to power, you might want to rely on fully solar-powered lighting solutions.
4. Pilot control
While this is primarily a trend projected in heliport lighting, it is an option you might want to consider when shopping. A pilot-activated and remote control solution would be ideal and come with many benefits.
For one, it can lead to cost savings as you will not be required to have people on-site to control the lights. In addition, it can significantly increase safety, as the pilots can make safe landings regardless of the conditions.
The availability of pilot control also has some cash savings as the company will spend less in the long term to keep the heliport functional.
5. Color of the emitted light
Chromaticity, also known as the color of the emitted light, is a vital factor to consider when choosing a lighting solution for your heliport. The best way to find the right color is to refer to aviation regulations. They usually require that the light emitted is exact. For instance, white light should emit yellow light instead of blue light.
Why is this requirement vital? First, the wrong light will mislead the pilot. For instance, if blue light is emitted, the pilot may take the runways as a taxiway. Therefore, the product’s lenses must also be very clear to cast the right light color.
6. The range of visibility
Before you settle for a lighting solution, confirm with the manufacturer what the visibility range is. The recommended visibility range is 10 km. This is because aeronautical lights must be visible from great distances. Also, worth noting is that the more powerful or bright the light is, the higher the power consumption.
Ensure you pick the suitable visual range and have systems that can power the solutions adequately.
To get the right heliport lighting solution, ensure ICAO compliance. Special optics and chromaticity are vital for pilot safety. Also, keep in mind your heliport system and find a solution that works best for you.
Your location will also inform the type of lighting you choose. With the factors above in mind, you will find a solution that provides adequate lighting for your heliport.