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SAGE helped to light the way home for pilots in the Royal Australian Air Force.

Published: May 8, 2016 - Updated: January 12, 2022


SAGE Automation has helped to light the way home for pilots in the Royal Australian Air Force, by upgrading the runway lighting systems at six key Defence sites including;

  • Williamtown, NSW
  • Richmond, NSW
  • Tindal, NT
  • Edinburgh, SA
  • Townsville, QLD
  • Amberley, QLD 


The lighting control systems designed by SAGE have multiple levels of protection, including cutouts and safety alarms, as well as built-in redundancy which allows the lighting system to be controlled from the equipment rooms if the link to the control tower ever fails.


The work carried out at Williamtown, which is home to many of Australia’s premier F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, was the largest of the six projects and was worth some $1.2 million. The task at Williamtown involves all the lights used to help pilots land and take off.


Lights utilised in the project include runway and taxiway lights, distance-to-run markers, illuminated wind direction indicators, and Precision Approach Position Indicators (PAPI) which are lights that change colour to tell pilots whether they are at the right height and distance to land on the runway.


All of these different groups of lights are controlled through two dedicated airport lighting equipment rooms, allowing the air traffic controllers to easily direct which lights are on and at what intensity.


There’s a level of automation as well. For example, if you switch on some lights others will automatically dim. The work at the other airbases is very similar to that being conducted at Williamtown, but only involved two lighting equipment rooms at Amberley and one for the Richmond, Tindal and Townsville sites.




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