November 28, 2019 Back to blog
In the first two posts we looked at the preparatory works, foundations, drainage and various layers that complete the runway structure.
The next steps are all about the lighting, electrical systems, and signage that will bring the runway and taxiways to life.
Airfield Ground Lighting is different from normal airport lighting and airfield lighting systems as it is specifically used to guide aircraft along the airfield and runways. Approximately 2,500 airfield ground lights will be installed on the runway and taxiways.
The lights will specifically illuminate the locations of touch down zones along the runway and taxiway centrelines to allow pilots see the runway for landing and take offs in night time, low visibility conditions and poor weather. The lights help pilots navigate their route to and from the runway and taxiways and allocated aircraft parking stands. 
The Airfield Ground Lighting system will be powered by electricity sourced at the Dardistown substation, channelled to two new substations which will be built to the north of North Runway, through two existing substations and back to Dardistown. This ‘ring’ will be connected by almost eight kilometres of medium voltage cabling.
Another essential element of the new runway system are the navigational aids that will guide aircraft safely on to the runway. A core aspect of these navigational aids is meteorological equipment. The equipment will provide essential weather data to assist Air Traffic Control, pilots and daa Operations and Airfield teams in their decision-making processes. 
The systems are provided by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), and Met Éireann. daa will provide and maintain the base stations, communications and electricity sources to power the aids. 
A substantial number of directional and information signs will also be installed that will assist pilots and ground staff navigate their way around the runway and taxiway network.
Once all the signage has been installed, there will be 136 illuminated signs in total - 68 directional and 68 informational on the runway and taxiway system. 
Image: Dublin Airport Airfield Supervisor, Seán MacKessy checks the lights on the airfield. Image courtesy of Dara MacDónaill, Irish Times.