THE NORTHWEST Regional Airport’s new instrument landing system (ILS) is scheduled to go into service in the middle of October.
Installation took place starting at the end of June and was finished earlier this month.
It was then successfully tested by a plane used by NavCanada, the federal not-for-profit agency which runs navigation systems at airports.
But the new system won’t officially go into service until the next publication of landing approaches at Canadian airports and that won’t happen until Oct. 15, says NavCanada official Ron Singer.
He said the new ILS will more than adequately serve the airport for years go come.
“Reliability will be increased and a lot of the repairs can be done remotely which wasn’t the case before and that means no one has to travel up [to Terrace],” said Singer. “And maintenance costs will be less.”
A piece of equipment called a localizer was replaced and new antennas were put into place as part of the project which cost an estimated $1 million.
An ILS guides pilots to lower altitudes in order to see the runway during inclement weather and then land.
The ILS being replaced had been at the end of its life cycle and was subject to more repairs and down time, particularly this past April.
It was also taken out of service while the new one was being installed but fog affected flights on just one occasion.
Northwest Regional Airport general manager Carman Hendry was happy with the replacement.
“It’s going to lower our [landing] limits a little bit more. It’s the newest and best equipment,” he said.
Once operational the new ILS will further strengthen the airport’s ability to act as a base for industrial and commercial activity, Hendry added.