Ports inaugurates upgraded visual aid systems at Isla Grande airport
By The Star Staff
Puerto Rico Ports Authority (APPR by its Spanish initials) Executive Director Joel A. Pizá Batiz on Wednesday inaugurated the visual aid systems project at the airfield of Fernando L. Ribas Dominicci Airport in Isla Grande, whose investment of $2.9 million had the purpose of strengthening air safety and providing greater resilience.
Pizá Batiz said the project consisted of the total reconstruction of all the airfield’s visual navigation aid systems: lighting, signaling signs, windsock, and lighthouse, and a new vault in reinforced concrete for the current regulators, and an emergency electrical generator with its 500-gallon reserve fuel tank.
“The Air Visual Navigation Aid system consists of visual elements that help pilots steer the aircraft. It includes electrical equipment in a cement vault,” said Pizá Batiz, who was accompanied by APPR Board Chairwoman Eileen M. Vélez Vega, Sen. Nitza Morán of San Juan, Roberto Méndez, La Fortaleza assistant secretary for critical projects, and project contractors. “This project is part of the capital improvement program for airports and was carried out thanks to a grant of 100% funds from the Federal Aviation Administration.”
The Ports chief noted that the APPR identified several of the visual navigation aids devices that had fulfilled their useful life and needed to be updated with state-of-the-art technology to increase the safety of aircraft and their occupants. The APPR then proceeded to complete the plans and specifications for the improvements and directed the bidding phase.
“Keeping airports in optimal condition and complying with the regulatory standards of the Federal Aviation Administration is a priority in the plan to achieve maximum airport development,” Pizá Batiz said. “Therefore, we continue working to identify and take advantage of any opportunity for competitive federal funds …”