Over the past three years, the Airport Authority has been involved in a mandatory lighting upgrade project at YVR. Now complete, the project which first started in the summer of 2009 saw the installation of new lighting, upgrades to low visibility systems as well as general runway maintenance.
During the night for several weeks each summer, the south runway was closed and all take-offs and landings were moved to the north runway. This allowed crews to have complete access to the area in order perform lighting upgrades and other runway maintenance ensuring the complete safety of aircraft and passengers in all weather conditions.
The lighting upgrade project took place to meet Transport Canada standards and to enhance aircraft and passengers safety during low visibility conditions. Over 1000 new light emitting diode (LED) lights were inserted into the surface, or elevated along the edges, of the taxiways and runways. These new lights have many benefits, not only are they brighter and more effective during poor weather conditions, but also more energy efficient and need to be changed less frequently making them much more cost effective than the traditional runways lights.
In addition to new lighting, we also upgraded the control system for the Surface Movement Guidance Control System (SMGCS). The SMGCS refers to a system of lighting, signs and markings that allow an aircraft to operate in very low visibility in a controlled and safe manner.
To minimize over night runway closures in the future, annual maintenance was also performed during this time. Runways, like all road surfaces, need to be constantly evaluated and maintained to ensure safety. Maintenance such as crack sealing, line painting, rubber removal or an small repairs took place as a part of the over-all project.
You can learn more this project and other construction projects taking place on our website.