Letter: Looking for affordable runway lighting

Chuck LairdĀ called earlier this week to ask about runway lighting for the Adelanto Airport. I asked Chuck to send me a letter that outlined the project in detail so I could put it out to the Living With Your Plane community. If you have any input you’d care to share, please do so in the comments section below…

Thanks for the response to my telephone inquiries about finding an affordable runway lighting system for our small rural airpark. It is identified as theĀ Adelanto Airport (52CL) and is a private, multiple ownership, airport located about seven (7) miles southwest of Victorville Airport (VCV). It is a fully State Permitted daytime use airport and Zoned as a Residential Airpark within the City of Adelanto. To increase its feasibility and usefulness to pilots, we are interested in providing for safe night flying.

It has two dirt runways. Runway 27 is about 5100 feet long and 100 feet wide. Runway 17 is about 3800 feet long and 170 feet wide. Airport elevation is 3070′ msl.

Runway 17 is the runway we’d like to light as it meets the FAR Part 77 Airspace requirements. Runway 17, as well as its reverse Runway 35, has high power transmission lines on each end. These high tension wires pose no particular problem during daylight VFR flying as they are about 150 feet AGL whereas our traffic pattern in their vicinity is at least 400 feet AGL. They are fitted with “balls” along their high wires for their identification during daylight flying but are not lighted for easy location at night.

Hence, flying at night will require the fitting of some sort of a lighted Visual Approach Indicator such as a VASI, PAPI, etc. to assure safety.

Our preliminary cost estimate including L-860 runway lights, L-801 rotating beacon and L-881 PAPI is nearly $32,000 not including Engineer, Surveyor, Electrical, Concrete and other construction excavation, concrete, trenching, etc. It’s believed the total costs could easily reach $40,000 even with a lot of anticipated “donated labor”.

We hope there are other small airport experiences of developing airport/runway lighting and approach path indicators that may guide us in a more affordable plan. Maybe only partial runway lighting with a mix of solar powered battery lights and “reflectors” have been tried/used, etc.

Thank you for all of your help.

So… if you have any feedback or experience, please share below in the comments for all to see. Thank you.