New airfield lights for London Stansted

In 2020, Stansted Airport is completing an upgrade of their entire airfield with additional LED airfield lighting supplied by TKH Airport Solutions. The lights will reduce power consumption by around 70%, helping drive down operating costs and cut CO2 emissions.

TKH Airport Solutions first provided Stansted Airport with lights in 2019, when the runway touch-down zone and threshold lights were exchanged for LEDs. In 2020, Stansted is replacing 3,600 Taxiway Centreline, Stop Bar and Approach lights with more energy efficient, high-performance LED lamps. The lights are crucial in the safe operation of aircraft in low-visibility conditions.

Stephen Ryan, Runway Engineering Lead, Stansted Airport, said: “After a vigorous procurement process, TKH delivered the required lights for our airfield improvement program. They even beat their own time scales for most of the deliveries, with completion within 12 weeks.”

After a vigorous procurement process, TKH delivered the required lights for our airfield improvement program. They even beat their own time scales for most of the deliveries, with completion within 12 weeks.

Stephen Ryan
Runway Engineering Lead, Stansted Airport

Retrofitting Taxiway Guidance Signs

As part of the project, the existing non-LED Taxiway Guidance Signs were upgraded to LED, primarily from fluorescent lighting technology. There were a number of reasons why this was considered necessary:

  • maintenance cost reductions
  • reduced time on the airfield for maintenance
  • improving airfield safety
  • EASA compliance
  • environmental performance

The project was undertaken internally by the airports’ own airfield electrical engineers, with advice from TKH Airport Solutions on the size of the retrofit kit required for each Taxiway Guidance Sign (TGS) type. An initial test installation was undertaken in 2018 with a smaller scale project in 2019, with all remaining TGS upgraded by February 2020.

It took no more than one hour to remove the old lighting technology and fit the new LED retrofit kits for each sign (photo courtesy of Stansted Airport)

For the airport it took no more than one hour to remove the old lighting technology and fit the new LED retrofit kits for each sign while insitu on the airfield. The retrofit kits were already preassembled in the workshop thus allowing the maximum number of signs to be upgraded per shift.

It was calculated that this retrofit project would be less than 50% of the cost of a complete TGS replacement project without the need for any 3rd party installation companies to be present and no need for parts of the airfield to be closed during such replacement works.

In total around 150 signs have been retrofitted and should any maintenance be required, the replacement of a LED module or electronic driver will take less than five minutes.

One of the TGS before and after the LED modules were installed (photo courtesy of Stansted Airport)