PAPI & ALS inspection at Geneva International Airport

On the night of Thursday October 17th, 2019 CANARD successfully conducted the first Visual Aids inspection with RPAs in a Swiss airport. The scenario was Geneva International Airport (GVA/LMGG), the 2nd busiest airport in Switzerland. The airport has a single concrete runway (04/22), which is the longest in Switzerland with a length of 3,900 m (12,795 ft) and one of the longest in Europe, making it usable by aircraft of all existing sizes.

CANARD’s solution was used to perform the real-time inspection of PAPI and ALS systems at both runway headers of the airport, taking less than 2h30min including the time required to go outside the airport and perform both ALS inspections at opposite headers. 

The scheduled window was from 00:00 to 5:30 AM, finishing all the activities by 02:30, with a very short actual runway occupation of a few minutes. This is a capability that greatly satisfies the needs of airports such as Geneva, as the runway has to be optimised as much as possible to accommodate the high number of airport operations.

For the airport, it was also remarkably useful being able to clearly see that the newly installed LED ALS is adjusted properly, with all lights visible at the required angles and positions. CANARD’s solution is the only available solution that actually checks ALS at all the required angles and positions.

Another important feat in the inspection of ALS is that it required coordination and authorisation from local police at the two municipalities affected, since the activities required flying from and over them. 

The personnel at GVA also pointed out the overall capabilities of CANARD’s solution, with a custom software that allows very efficient and real-time inspection in minutes. This allows for quick adjustments of the PAPI in case of calibrations.

At CANARD, we are thankful to Geneva Airport and all involved personnel that made possible this inspection. We hope that it is the first of many in our journey to improve efficiency in airport maintenance with our smart solutions.

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