Guernsey Airport improves runway safety with Pollite frangible approach masts

Guernsey Airport is taking action to improve runway safety, after investing in new green frangible approach masts from UK manufacturer, Pollite Ltd, as part of a wider £80million runway redevelopment.

The masts will be used to house brand new airfield ground lighting, which has been purchased as part of Guernsey’s ‘Airport 2040’ project. The deal marks the launch of Pollite’s brand new mid-hinged pole, specially designed with two hinges attached either side of the mast to enable it to be scaled down for easy maintenance.

This is the first time that Pollite has been asked to design and manufacture frangible approach masts that do not follow the global ‘Aviation Yellow’ colour pattern. Instead, the masts at Guernsey Airport are covered with a green gel coat, in order to blend in with the natural environment.

Airport Director Colin le Ray explained why Guernsey Airport requested green masts: “The typical aviation yellow masts would have been a complete contrast to the areas surrounding the runway. For this reason, the approach masts needed to be green as well as conforming to a defined, appropriate RAL standard colour.”

The rural surroundings of Guernsey Airport’s runway presented Pollite with a number of challenges during the design process. The uneven topography of the landscape meant that extra attention had to be given to ensure that all lights would be raised to the correct levels upon installation. The masts also had to be carefully designed and erected in order to minimise their environmental impact. The design stage involved extensive consultation with the consultant RPS Gregory and the electrical contractor Environ.

During the installation phase, the vehicles that transported the masts to the runway had to travel through narrow roads and villages. A particular benefit of Pollite’s design process is the fact the company includes as minimal an amount of parts as possible when shipping and all masts are lightweight to ensure quick and easy installation.

Frangible approach masts are integral to global runway safety and Pollite manufactures all products to always break, yield or distort upon any contact with aircraft, causing minimal damage. Frangibility is guaranteed because Pollite’s product complies with both International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards on frangibility.

Pollite’s masts are a major part of Guernsey Airport’s Project 2040 initiative which also  includes re-profiling and resurfacing of the runway and taxiways, which is already underway, an extension of the Runway End Safety Areas (RESA), and reconstruction of the concrete apron areas where aircraft park.

It is just one of a number of orders that Pollite has secured recently for its range of frangible approach masts, windsock masts and anemometer masts. The company is also busy fulfilling an order for new approach masts for Birmingham Airport’s Runway 33 extension, responding to a repeat order for noise monitoring masts for Dubai Airport, and completing an order for two approaches at RAF Scampton. At a time when runway safety has never been higher on the global airport agenda, with new airport builds in places such as India, Russia and the Middle East, Anders Jersby, Sales and Business Development Manager at Pollite, is delighted to be responding to global demand.

“We have had a really busy year so far and are fulfilling orders from all over the world for our frangible products. Key to our success is the unique way in which our products are rigorously tested for frangibility compliance. Every product we manufacture is tested to ensure it has no electromagnetic interference, is weather and temperature resistant, corrosion and maintenance free. Once installed, a frangible mast from Pollite is highly durable and does its bit to improve runway safety for long periods of time.”