Belgrade Upgrade

The new taxiway lighting on Belgrade’s Taxiway F was installed by Elgra Vision. (ALL-KEY-Tom Allett)

Serbia’s biggest airport is in the process of upgrading its airfield lighting.  Tom Allett reports.

The new taxiway lighting on Belgrade’s Taxiway F was installed by Elgra Vision. (ALL-KEY-Tom Allett)

Visitors to Belgrade Airport (IATA BEG), which serves Serbia’s capital city, will probably know that the country is still in the process of economic recovery from the war and subsequently imposed sanctions of the 1990s.
There is much work to be done at the airport, but progress is being made.  Its electrical power systems are about to be superseded.  The funds are already budgeted for and BEG’s current two electrical generators, which have powered its airfield lighting since the 1970s, are soon to be replaced by a single more powerful unit.  Though the old generators are certainly due for replacement, in some ways the move is a little ironic because the extra power will become available at a time when the airport is replacing its aging airfield lights with modern energy-efficient ones that use much less electricity.
Elgra has installed new Transcom CCRs at BEG.

Behind the scenes, a relatively new organisation called Elgra Vision is carrying out much of the work.  Formed in 1996, the Belgrade-based private company has hired several key players from the remnants of what was once a state-run entity that has now fallen into decline.  Elgra is currently an integrator rather than a manufacturer, though this may change in the not too distant future.  The company has already installed airfield lighting equipment produced by several of the most famous names in the business and has won distribution contracts from the established airfield lighting specialist Transcom.
As part of BEG’s ongoing upgrades, Elgra has installed several Transcom’s CCRs within the lighting system, inserted centreline lights on the airport’s new Taxiway F and put down large lengths of replacement cabling.
Between November 1 and December 15, 2009, Elgra supplied and installed 299,500ft (91,300m) of primary XLPE cable, 1 x 6mm2 brass tape from Studer, while 986 pieces of primary connectors and the same number of isolating transformers were installed, all of which were manufactured by Efla.
The airport’s two aging electrical generators are to be replaced by a single modern unit.

As for the taxiway lighting project, Elgra’s work on Taxiway F began with digging around 490ft (150m) of trenches.  Then, between November 15 and December 15, 2009, 23 Erni model 241 high-intensity green/green 45-Watt taxiway centreline lights were installed in both straight and curved sections.  At the same time a further seven straight section red / red 65-Watt versions of these lights, plus four red Erni model 217 elevated units were set down to form the taxiway stop bar.  The airport’s engineering department already the latter in stock, plus the primary cables required, but Elgra supplied a further 9,842ft (3,000m) of secondary 1 x 4mm2 PVC nylon wire for the task.
Belgrade Airport is in the process of expanding its apron area, so more lighting tasks are sure to follow.