Lighting the way to Siler City

BY DAVID BRADLEY, News + Record Staff
Posted 5/3/19

SILER CITY — Siler City Municipal Airport is getting a new beacon lighting system installed that increases safety for the community and pilots that use the facility.

A new tower, funded by a …

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Lighting the way to Siler City

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Posted

SILER CITY — Siler City Municipal Airport is getting a new beacon lighting system installed that increases safety for the community and pilots that use the facility.

A new tower, funded by a grant, has been in the installation process for months, curtailing the use of the airport until completion. At 10 feet taller than the older structure, the LED lighting system is designed to be seen over two miles, over a mile improvement from the previous incandescent lighting system. The new tower will also reduce costs and improve maintenance at the airport.

“The old bulbs went out every two or three months. They cost about $30 each,” said Airport Manager Richard McCraw. “This is an exciting change because the light is clearer, cleaner and more powerful.”

The work has been going on for two months, McCraw said. The crews working to install the new system removed the over 20-year-old tower, and dug a hole 12 feet deep to stabilize the new, taller structure. While the tower has been out of commission, the airport hasn’t been able to use half the length of its runway.

Jason Davis was one of the workers installing the new device on Wednesday.

“This is a major upgrade for pilots,” Davis said. “They may be able to see it from two miles away, or more. The power of the old beacons light was less than a mile.”

Safety, always a concern for any airport, will be enhanced by the new system, Davis said.

“It’s an upgrade in safety for everyone,” said Davis.

The beacon replacement is an Federal Aviation Administration approved upgrade. They have allowed new signage, lights on the taxiway and runway. All field electrics are new.

The completion date is not far off, McCraw said.

“They are a month ahead of schedule,” McCraw said. “They are reseating and smoothing areas that were dug up for the project. They should be done in the next two weeks.

Reach David Bradley at david@chathamnr.com.

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