Work starts on upgrade to Melbourne airport ILS

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Airservices Australia has commenced work to upgrade Melbourne airport’s instrument landing system (ILS) to provide better guidance for pilots in low visibility conditions.

The works, which include increasing the size of the localiser antenna array at the end of runway 16, will result in the airport gaining an upgrade to Category IIIB status by mid-May 2014.

“A Category IIlB ILS allows a reduced decision making height for pilots down to 50 feet (above the ground) in the event of low visibility,” says Airservices’ executive general manager projects and engineering Mark Rodwell.

Melbourne is prone to thick fog at certain times of the year that can reduce visbility for pilots during landing, and in some cases forces flights to divert elsewhere.

Airservices adds that it is undertaking a programme to upgrade or replace ILS equipment at airports around Australia to ensure their integrity until 2025.