Abu Dhabi Airports officials at the lighting upgrade ceremony
Abu Dhabi Airports officials at the lighting upgrade ceremony Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Airports has successfully upgraded the Airfield Lighting System of the Southern Runway at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to a CAT-IIIB system, joining a select group of international airports to have implemented the advanced technology.

This new state-of-the-art technology has been integrated with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) systems of the Southern Runway, while upgrade works to install a CAT-IIIB system on the Northern Runway continue to progress.

What this means

This 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.

With Abu Dhabi city experiencing up to 15 days of forecasted low visibility annually, the lighting upgrades will significantly mitigate the risk of any interruptions to flight schedules, leading to less aircraft diversions and a smoother travel experience for all passengers arriving, departing or transiting through Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Tackling the rising cost of flight diversions, which can amount to Dh2 million per diversion, including extra expenditures on fuel, transport and accommodation, as well as the increased emissions due to the longer flight path, is a priority for Abu Dhabi Airports and its partner airlines.

Sustainable initiative

The implementation of the upgraded lighting system also complements 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.

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 work.

Bryan Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “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 centred 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,” added Thompson.