Runway lights have gone dark in Chilliwack

Don't be alarmed if the lights are off for the most of the night at the Chilliwack Airport. It's an upgrade that will cut hydro costs.

Airport officials have announced changes to runway lighting at the Chilliwack Airport and advise pilots and other facility users not to become alarmed if the lights are off for the most of the night.

Runway lights won’t be burning brightly through the night any more at the Chilliwack Airport.

Chilliwack Airport and Magnum Management announced jointly in a press release that changes to the runway lighting system took effect Wednesday.

“Now, with a new system called ARCAL, the lights are operated by the pilots flying the planes as and when required,” said Magnum manager Garry Atkins.

“An additional benefit that this change brings about is a reduction in the environmental impact through a significant decrease in the use of electricity.”

The old system ran on a light sensor that activated the lights at dusk and turned them off at dawn.

“These high voltage lights were burning throughout the night, 365 days a year with very little aircraft using the airport overnight,” noted Atkins.

“Magnum wishes to thank the City of Chilliwack for supporting this upgrade and to our neighbouring airport to the west, Abbotsford Airport and the City of Abbotsford for supplying the hardware.”

He said this is a way of notifying aviation enthusiasts and others in the community not to become alarmed if the lights are now off for the most of the night. Some upgrading was announced last year.

Jesse Smith, a local pilot and business owner member of the Chilliwack Airport Tenants’ Association said it’s a positive move to see improvements being made at the municipal airport.

“It looks like they found some funding from City of Chilliwack that will end up saving Magnum Management some money,” said Smith.

“We hope in some way these savings and improvements can be passed on and of benefit to the tenants and taxpayers. We look forward to that.”

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