Saturday, September 07, 2013

Albert J. Ellis Airport (KOAJ) beacon failure requires replacement

The rotating beacon at Albert J. Ellis Airport is inoperable and must be replaced.

The $30,000 project was unanimously approved at Tuesday night’s Onslow County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Airport Director Chris White told the board that the beacon, which pilots use to locate the airport in darkness and inclement weather, quit working recently and can’t be repaired.

In the interim, pilots are using GPS and other radio aids to locate the airport, he said.

He said the airport’s existing beacon no longer is manufactured. The beacon’s clutch went out and caused malfunctions.

As a result, the airport is buying a new beacon.

The refit will entail: repainting the support pole; completing electrical work; and replacing the 40-year-old head with a new generation unit.

 Money from the airport fund balance is allocated for the refit.

The airport fund balance is used for this type of project and airport construction. 

White said the airport had a contractor on standby and the work is expected to take two weeks.

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