Instrument landing system upgrades for Sydney and Canberra

5 Jan 2012

Airservices will this month commence essential upgrade works on instrument landing systems (ILS) at Sydney and Canberra airports as part of a major enhancement to key air navigation technology nationally.

ILS is a course-forming radio navigation aid that supports the safe and efficient movement of air traffic into and out of the airport, particularly during low visibility and bad weather conditions.

In Sydney, work will commence on the ILS on 34L (the southern end of the main runway) on 9 January and run for a period of approximately three months.

Work on the Canberra ILS will begin on 16 January with the removal of the existing ILS from service while the glide path, localiser antenna array and transmitter equipment is replaced.

The new systems at Sydney and Canberra are expected to be commissioned by Airservices before winter.

Acting General Manager Technology and Asset Services, Dan Galazowski, said that ILS was an accurate means for pilots to navigate to the runway when visibility was reduced.

“This work has been planned to occur when weather conditions are generally most favourable, as well as avoiding peak travelling periods such as Christmas,” Mr Galazowski said.

Airservices is working with the airports, airlines and the aviation industry to minimise disruptions to the travelling public and any potential short-term changes in flight patterns as a result.

“However, if bad weather does coincide with the works, there may be some unavoidable delays to air traffic when the ILS is unavailable. Our air traffic controllers will work to minimise these as much as possible,” Mr Galazowski said.

The upgrades will improve the reliability of the systems at both airports and ensure that extended or uncontrolled outages are kept to a minimum in future.

ILS equipment around Australia is gradually being upgraded or replaced by Airservices to ensure continued service provision until 2025.