The Northern Canadian Tsay Keh Dene First Nation is turning to solar-powered LED (light-emitting diode) lighting to illuminate an airfield that serves a remote village in British Columbia.
The new lights from Carmanah Technologies will help supply and medevac aircraft that fly into and out of the village airfield. One of two projects funded by the Canadian Government’s Innovative Clean Energy Fund, the solar-powered airfield is the first of its kind in British Columbia.
Tsay Keh Dene First Nation, a rural Canadian First Nations community, relies on a 4,500-foot runway to move supplies, groceries, and community members to nearby towns. One of the runway’s most critical uses is medical evacuation. With the closest hospital over five hours away by logging road, the community is dependent on air transport for medical evacuations and supplies.
Previously, the airfield lacked runway edge and threshold lighting, which meant that, after dusk, the community had to wait until morning before medevac crews could arrive.
Tsay Keh Dene Chief Dennis Izony said the solar-powered airfield project is one the community has requested for some time.
“We discuss improvements at community meetings, and the airfield lighting project always comes up,” Izony said. “It was a fast and simple solution for something that will greatly benefit the safety of the community and pilots.”
Carmanah deploys its solar LED airfield lighting systems in remote and extreme environments where reliability and trouble-free operation are required.
“The Tsay Keh Dene Nation represents the first installation of a deployable solar-powered runway in British Columbia, yet given the abundance of rural airfields that service communities throughout Northern Canada, it won’t be the last,” said Ted Lattimore, CEO of Carmanah. “We couldn’t anticipate a more appropriate application for these lights.”
Since 1996, Carmanah has deployed thousands of solar LED airfield lights worldwide for rural and major airfields including LAX, Chicago O’Hare and Vancouver International Airport.