By Vince Little, The BayonetAugust 27, 2009
FORT BENNING, GA - Flashing traffic control devices have been installed at three locations near the intersection of Sunshine and Sightseeing roads to ensure an unobstructed radar signal to aircraft approaching Lawson Army Airfield from the south during inclement weather, the airfield division chief said this week.
Adrian Cerdedo, who's also the Lawson Army Airfield manager, said the system would only be activated when an aircrew requests precision approach radar guidance and conditions are hampered by low visibility and cloud cover.
"We do not anticipate use of these devices during clear weather, day or night," he said. "It should have very minimal effect to no effect on traffic in the area during fair weather."
The traffic signs were put in place Saturday and are scheduled to be fully operational starting Monday.
Cerdedo said engineers discovered an anomaly at the airfield. After conducting multiple systems tests, they learned that large vehicles traveling along a portion of Sightseeing and Sunshine roads near the runway's south end were causing interference with the radar signal.
The traffic control devices will instruct motorists to stop when the sign is flashing due to approaching aircraft, he said. An automatic timer will deactivate the system after about three minutes.
"Our air traffic controllers will still have the option to shut down the TCDs when they are no longer needed, prior to the three-minute timer," Cerdedo said.
He said the system is a low-cost solution that will allow Lawson Army Airfield to continue providing a fully certified fixed base precision approach radar service to the flying community.
"I would ask the general driving public to offer up due patience during ... the very few times that we will need to activate the TCDs, in order to protect the radar signal being used to guide the aircraft," he said.
For more information about the new traffic control devices, call Lawson Army Airfield at 706-545-1357 or 706-545-2857.