America needs solutions to our infrastructure issues that can work today, and what if it’s as simple as switching out the lights?
The replacement of the entire airfield electrical system at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) represents the first major air carrier airport in the United States to complete a full airfield conversion to FAA-certified LED airfield lighting. Beginning in 2008, the $20 million, two-year project replaced roughly 230 signs and 3,200 bulbs lighted with incandescent lighting — everything from taxiway edge and centerline lighting to runway centerline lights, obstruction lights, touchdown zone lights, runway end identifier lights, and elevated and in-pavement guard lights — with LED technology.
The transition will save approximately $400,000 per year in energy and maintenance costs, including labor and parts. With AIP funds covering 75 percent of Phase One and North Carolina state funds and federal stimulus funds combining for Phase Two, maintenance savings alone are expected to recoup the airport’s portion of the project’s cost within 18 months.