The government of Madagascar identified a critical need to better connect its people to important services and regional economies. This is essential during the hot, rainy season from November through April as tropical cyclones cause damage to crops and road infrastructure. The result is restricted transport and limited access to medical care for the island republic’s 27.5 million people.
Airports needed to be rebuilt, expanded, maintained, and operated to provide better access between the main island and its surrounding islands. The government urged public-private partnerships for the national airport redevelopment projects as a way to stimulate economic growth and business development. It was also a way to create new jobs, accommodate larger aircraft, and link remote regions to one another during the rainy season. Another important goal was to expand the valuable tourist trade, which accounts for 16% of Madagascar’s economy.
A major hurdle in the redevelopment of Madagascar’s airports was the lack of electrical service. Only 23 percent of the country has access to electricity, so powering traditional, hardwired airfield lighting would be difficult and expensive.
With restricted access to main roads as well as limited air transportation, equipment and material delivery of a traditional hardwired airfield lighting system would also be challenging.
There were several requirements for new airfield lighting:
Avlite supplied a suite of RF controlled, solar, LED airfield lighting products for several of Madagascar’s airport renovation projects. All the airfield lighting utilized Avlite’s encrypted RF Control for convenient, remote operation from on-field or air traffic control tower locations. Supplied products included:
Avlite’s versatile AV-426 was utilized to suit runway threshold, edge and end light configurations. Easily deployed and operated, the AV-426 is completely self-contained, features multiple light intensities and operational modes, and outputs from 650cd to 700cd.
Taxiway lighting featured Avlite’s AV-70, the only FAA certified solar LED taxiway light. Featuring two, high-performance solar panels, it is available in a high-intensity version ideal for high sunlight areas. It also features automatic dusk to dawn operation, and user-replaceable batteries. The LEDs have a life expectancy of over 100,000 hours providing a low cost-of-ownership over the products’ life.
Avlite’s new Series 3 LED PAPI’s were also installed at several of Madagascar’s airports to provide precise glideslope information to approaching aircraft. The Series 3 PAPI is Intertek certified to FAA AC 150/5345-28H. It also has an approved FAA National Buy American waiver. The Series 3 features the sharpest red/white transition line of any LED PAPI currently available, thereby enhancing pilot, aircraft, and passenger safety. Energy-efficient LEDs offer the industry’s lowest power consumption, making it an ideal approach lighting choice for solar applications.
The Madagascar airports also installed Avlite’s LED L-858 Signs. Their seamless, impact-resistant panels display information without spaces, joints or the associated distortion. Minimal light bloom or ground splash ensures information is clear for immediate recognition by pilots.
Madagascar’s renovated airfield projects and the new Avlite airfield lighting solutions helped regional and local economies. New jobs were created, and tourism has increased 19%. The renovated airports can accommodate larger aircraft, with an 81% increase in seat capacity. Remote locations are now crucially connected with critical services as a result of the airfield lighting projects.
“Avlite is proud to have helped Madagascar stimulate important economic growth with our solar LED airfield lighting solutions.”
— Victor Dennis, Managing Director, Avlite UK