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New runway technology at Newcastle Airport
Newcastle International Airport is the first airport in the UK to achieve Category III status for the use of forward scatter meter runway visual range equipment. The breakthrough will radically reduce the costs to airports of this vital piece of runway technology, replacing the need for the more expensive equipment traditionally needed for Category III operations.
Airport landing equipment is ranked dependent on the level of visibility it can operate in – from category I through to III.
Until now, forward scatter meters – a piece of technology that measures runway visibility – have been approved only for use in supporting Category I operations. However, following a successful trial early this year, Newcastle Airport and air traffic engineers at NATS have been able to prove that the technology can also provide the level of accuracy required for more demanding Category III operations.
NATS is also working with the Civil Aviation Authority and technology supplier AGI, to develop a new and more robust method for determining the true visibility available to pilots of arriving aircraft. This could in turn help reduce the length of time that Low Visibility Procedures would need to be in force.
Source and image: NATS
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