Davidson County Airport is Installing New Approach Lighting.

Sept. 24, 2020

A new approach lighting system being installed at the Davidson County Airport will be a first of its kind in North Carolina, crossing a major interstate.

The airport is constructing an approach lighting system that will extend along the runway centerline off the southernmost end of Runway 6-24 and will cross Interstate 85. This system will include seven seven light towers inside the interstate right-of-way and two two light towers directly over travel lanes.  

The reason for the $4.5 million project is to improve pilot safety during landings at the airport, said Jack Robertson, general manager of Fly High Lexington, the fixed base operator that manages flight operations at the airport.

“This approach lighting system will enhance pilot safety while pilots are attempting to land during poor visibility conditions (i.e. low cloud cover, fog, rain, etc.),” said Robertson.

Rifenburg Construction Inc., based in Zebulon, is building the towers.The towers will feature horizontal bars of lights at the top that will make the approach to the runway more visible, especially in poor weather conditions that limit visibility.

Two of the towers will have horizontal light bars that hang over the highways that vehicles will pass under. For this reason the airport had to receive approvals from several federal and state agencies.

"It wasn't as simple as installing some light bulbs," joked Robertson.

The project is fully funded through the State Transportation Improvement Program and is being completed in coordination with the NCDOT Division of Highways, the NCDOT Division of Aviation and the Federal Aviation Administration, said John Gray, chairman of the Davidson County Airport Authority, “

“As the airport seeks to attract more corporate jet tenants and transient jet traffic it was vital to provide a system such as this for the safety of the passengers and crew,” said Karel Van Der Linden, airport manager and owner/director of Fly High Lexington.

The airport has several build to suit sites for corporate hangars ranging from 10,000 to 40,000 square foot, and two feature their own entrance.

“We have received interest from companies considering moving their flight operations to the airport and we believe this system will help in their decision-making process,” Van Der Linden said.

The construction phase is scheduled to be completed by the first week of October, with the final inspection, flight check and commissioning of the lighting system being completed by the FAA thereafter, added Robertson.

The Davidson County Airport features a 5,000-foot runway, 50 T-hangars, six corporate hangars, a 12,000 square foot heated community hangar and a 12,000 square foot maintenance hangar. The airport is in the Piedmont region  and is adjacent to Interstate 85, Highway 52 and Business 85.

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