South Asia’s first LED runway at Colombo International Airport

A major runway overlay project including LED airfield ground lighting (AGL), airfield lighting control and monitoring system (ALCMS), airfield signs and power management systems is starting this month at Bandaranaike International Airport, also known as Colombo International Airport.

The runway modernization project being undertaken by ADB SAFEGATE is part of a major infrastructure expansion, which includes the construction of a second international terminal that will increase annual passenger capacity to 15 million passengers.

“Economic growth and a surge in tourist arrivals in the last decade are driving Sri Lanka to invest in infrastructure development and upgrades,” said G. Withanage, the airport’s Head of Civil Engineering (Project & Design). “Bandaranaike International Airport, especially its single runway, needed an upgradation to keep up with demand, and we were conscious of the importance of minimizing environmental impact.”

ADB SAFEGATE has teamed up with the airport’s AGL sub contractor CATIC-ENG China to supply, test, commission and deliver full LED airfield lighting for the runway and taxiway, LED PAPI and signs.

The transformation from halogen to LED lighting will enable energy efficiency and increased energy savings, and will help increase runway capacity. In the future, the airport will also incorporate rapid exit taxiways and a CAT II lighting system for both approach ends to meet increasing traffic.

The project, currently underway, poses challenges as this is the first time overlay work is being carried out on the runway since its construction in 1986.

The infrastructure expansion project, the work on which will begin in April, includes the construction of two pier buildings that will add 16 boarding gates as well as additional apron area to increase the parking bays, including 45 in mixed aircraft configuration. Other auxiliary services such as cargo building, multistory car park, and train link to Colombo city are also a part of the project.

 

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