Improved Landing Aids Coming to Lugano Airport

 - January 14, 2010, 11:30 AM

The Swiss government has approved Lugano Airport’s plan to install more visual aids, including a lead-in light row with strobe lamps for Runway 19. This will allow waiving current low-visibility restrictions below 3,000 feet for aircraft landing under IFR and should guarantee a weather-related dispatch reliability of 99 percent, versus the current 97 percent. Airport authorities want the new installation certified and operational by October. Additional improvements announced include 330 feet of added runway length. Lugano is Switzerland’s only regional airport south of the Alps. Because its single 4,429-foot Runway 01/19 is surrounded by mountains, the ILS approach to Runway 01 has a steep glideslope and is accessible only to aircraft certified for six-degree descents. Under a circling approach procedure, other aircraft follow Runway 01’s localizer to 3,000 feet, then divert and continue their descent in parallel to the runway to the opposite end of the airport, where they land after a 180-degree turn.