Winner of the 2012 AGC of VT – Best Builder Award for Specialty Construction
Hartness Airport Hazard Beacon Replacement
J.P. Sicard, Inc. began construction on the Hartness Airport Hazard Beacon project in February of 2012. The project consisted of replacing three hazard beacon towers with new solar powered systems, a green energy product. Hazard beacons performance is critical as it helps pilots navigate safely in and out of Vermont’s airports. They are placed on hilltops located within the takeoff and landing paths to warn pilots of obstructions at night. Until this year Vermont’s hazard beacons were powered by overhead utility lines that traveled up hillsides to tower sites, often at the highest point on the mountain.
The new systems include LED beacons mounted on towers at heights of up to 70 feet. The new beacons are powered by solar energy stored in batteries. Four solar panels mounted atop of the tower energize the batteries throughout the day, allowing the warning light to flash through the night. The new systems are equipped with communication that provide the owner remote monitoring abilities.
J.P. Sicard Inc.’s greatest challenge constructing the new solar beacons was construction access. Access trails traversed steep wooded hillsides making the beacon sites accessible only by ATV or narrow track equipment. With construction beginning in the winter months, ice and snow added to access difficulties. Towers and components were assembled on the ground at each site. Once assembled JP Sicard stood the 4000 pound towers using a Sikorsky 61 helicopter. The lift helicopter proved to be far superior over traditional crane set methods, as a crane access road would have created substantial disturbance.
The solar beacon project offers state of the art advancement by using alternative green power to eliminate electricity costs for operating the beacons. The communication system provided on each beacon is monitored remotely from a desktop, tablet or cell phone. This eliminates fuel cost and emissions required of travel, and reduces labor substantially, of which the old system demanded. The NV-L864LED is the smallest, lightest, and most efficient medium-intensity flashing red obstruction light on the market. It is fully compatible with NVG and NVIS systems, making it the first true replacement for incandescent obstruction beacons.