Entrusted by CAD, EMSD conducts regular inspections and emergency repairs for all hilltop obstacle lights to ensure their proper functioning. Without vehicular access, our colleagues have to manually carry heavy tools and equipment along the rugged mountain trail to the hilltop for repairs or replacement, whether it is sunny or rainy or under adverse weather conditions like typhoon and rainstorm.
Last December, we took initiative to install a trial GSM auto dialer and replace the heavy obstacle light on one of the obstacle light stations with a light-weight, more energy efficient LED light. This pilot project successfully achieved timely remote monitoring of the obstacle light, and enhanced equipment reliability as well as improved working conditions and safety for staff.
With the new LED light, we save around 40 man-hours for on-site inspection and over 2,000KWh power consumption per year per station. With much improved reliability and energy efficiency after installation of new LED obstacle lights, similar modification is being extended to other obstacle light stations in 2014.
The Walk Must Go On
"Fixing the obstacle lights on the hilltop is not an easy task, especially when each neon obstacle light weighs as much as 30 to 40 kg.
"Very often, there is no vehicular road access and it is hard to fly a helicopter to the hilltop where there is no proper helicopter pad. We must carry the heavy tools and equipment for repairs and replacement, and walk for two hours to the hilltop, and another one and a half hours downhill.
"To play safe, we always go in teams of at least two persons for every trip up the mountain to carry out maintenance work. Of course, we are well equipped with hiking equipment and necessities like walking sticks and hiking shoes. With the new LED lights weighing just around 12kg, our burden has been much reduced.
"We know the walk must go on to ensure flight safety!"