From Thursday, 5 March, the newly constructed lighting system CAT II will be officially put into operation. It will contribute to flight safety and reduce to minimum the flights diverted to other airports in low visibility conditions.
“Certification of the aerodrome for CAT II compliant lighting system will improve the quality of the services provided by the airport to airlines and passengers because the number of flights diverted to other airports due to adverse weather conditions will substantially decrease. It is an essential precondition for raising the airport’s competitiveness and attraction of new airlines,” said Andris Liepiņš, chairman of the board of Riga International Airport.
The airport from now on will be able to accept incoming flights at the visibility in the aerodrome being up to 300 metres, whereas departing flights will be permitted to take off at the visibility below 250 metres. The CAT II lighting system has been constructed within the framework of the EU Cohesion Fund co-financed project „Development of Riga International Airport Infrastructure”.
Jānis Vanags, vice-president for communications, airBaltic, said: “According to the OAG data, airBaltic is the most punctual airline in the world. We can provide the service of this level only in cooperation with excellent partners. The improvements made to the infrastructure of Riga International Airport are a significant benefit gained by the clients of airBaltic allowing them to travel comfortably also in disagreeable weather.”
“The agency Latvijas gaisa satiksme rendering aeronautical services to the users of Latvia’s airspace has made all the necessary preliminary works to prepare for successful introduction of CAT II and from 5 March 2015 to facilitate flights in low visibility conditions. In the preparatory period, tests were conducted on the systems monitoring meteorological parameters and controlling the movement of objects in the airport territory. A special regulation has been elaborated for the occasion when the visibility drops to the meteorological minimum and the airport specialists have been instructed to work in the new circumstances. I am convinced that the results of our efforts will be appreciated both by passengers and airlines,” said Dāvids Tauriņš, chairman of the board of VAS Latvijas gaisa satiksme.
It should be mentioned that in 2013 and 2014 a number of other significant projects have been accomplished within the EU Cohesion Fund project: renovation of runway pavement surface, strengthening of the runway strip, construction of auxiliary taxiways E and D, reconstruction of Aprons 2 and 3, building of two anti-icing treatment pads, construction of storm water and aerodrome drainage systems, the hangar for washing of vehicles, the hangar for collection of waste, simple renovation of taxiways C and G and construction of a firefighting depot.
The project plans for 2015 include reconstruction of Apron 1 and purchase of a specialized firefighting and rescue vehicle as well as the equipment for security screening.
The attributed project costs amount to EUR 94 266 717.13, of which Cohesion Fund financing accounts for EUR58 500 000.00, state budget funding – for EUR 11 747 011.97 and SJSC Riga International Airport funding – for EUR 24 019 705.16.