Airports require specific types of cables to ensure safe operations. The types of wire used in airports include airport lighting cables, terminal cables, ground power unit cables, and many other types. Airport lighting cables are some of the most important cables used in airport operations.
Airport lighting cables are suitable for installation in many ways, including conduit, ducting or direct burial. Because they are used in airports, lighting cables are particularly effective. One also expects them to require no maintenance for at least five years after they begin operations.
Cables can come in metallic and non-metallic conduits. They are designed for a variety of airfield applications, including airfield lighting systems, lighting circuits, control circuits, and airfield control equipment.
All airport cables are sunlight resistant, an essential feature given the nature of their use. They are also known to have an optimal balance of electrical and mechanical functions, guaranteeing a long cable life. These airport cables have a single conductor made of fully annealed stranded bare copper, ranging from 12 AWG to 4 AWG. the conductors are stranded in class B according to ASTM B 8 and are heat resistant, which is necessary because prolonged use may cause the cable to overheat.
Types of Airport Cables
Airport Lighting Cables
Airport lighting cables are used for airfield lighting systems, lighting circuits, control circuits, and airfield control equipment. Lighting cables are used for runways, taxiways, navigation aids, control systems, and obstacle lighting, including LED and Xenon lights. They can be used in different conduits, ducts, overhead, raceway, and direct burial applications. On runways, lighting cables play a vital role as they ensure night visibility for pilots. They also help pilots determine their exact position at the airport. In addition, pilots need light to see the runway in front of them.
Terminal Building Cables
Airport terminal cables are used in passenger terminals and escalators. Because of their resistance to fire, they are often used in fire suppression systems and a variety of applications within airport buildings.
Aircraft Ground Power Unit Cables
Aircraft ground power cables are GPU wires used for ground power units to allow for proper operation of the aircraft while stationed. These cables are both energy efficient and flexible. the GPU provides the 400Hz power required for proper cable operation.
Signal, Control, and Power Cables
Signal, control, and power cables are used for x-ray, sensors, and conveyors. They are flame retardants to protect employees and passengers from accidents involving fumes and corrosive gases.
Installation of airport cables
Wires are insulated with black cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) with a semi-conductive level of stress control. XLPE insulation makes these cables resistant to track, abrasion, moisture, liquid chemicals, and heat. This material reduces short circuits and overload levels.
Cables are available in 600-volt or 5000-volt configurations and are approved for direct burial. 5kv versions are used for primary circuits between constant current sources. 600-volt, low-rate lighting cables are suitable for secondary circuits where durability is less critical.
Cables are used for direct burial under airport runways. Areas with direct buried circuits and the location of cable connections are identified by unique markings according to the standard. As a precaution, the wires used for direct burial are robust.
Most commonly, cables are buried in conduits to power series lights and navigation (LEDs). When used in conduit or duct, there should be no connections or splices in the wire. Semi-conductive tape should be spiraled over the insulation, as the atmosphere in the conduit can be quite humid. Shielding helps prevent airport accidents and ensures that power loss is kept to a minimum. It also helps improve the durability of the equipment. The lowest possible conduit should be the first to receive the wire. The ducting route should also be as low as possible and free from any interference for the most efficient use. Duct sets and conduits should be installed separately according to standards.
The temperature range for airport cable varies from 90°C for daily operation to 130°C for emergencies and 250°C for short circuit applications exposed to extreme heat. Some of the industry standards that airport wire complies with include ICEA S-66-524, FAA-L-824, and RoHS.
Types of Airport Cables Offered
ZMS Cables offers the FAA-L-824 type of cable that is expressly designed for airway lighting systems. It features minimal potential effects of heat. The default length of the cable is 5,000 feet per solid, but additional measures are available upon request.
Alternative versions with tinned copper, shielding, and different colors of wire are also available upon request. ZMS Cables sells airfield lighting cable 5kv and airfield lighting cable 600V which are manufactured exclusively in the USA and guarantee the highest quality.