What's that bridge-like structure by the Boise Airport?

Credit: Paul Boehlke/KTVB

What's that bridge-like structure by the Boise Airport?

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by Ty Brennan
Idaho's NewsChannel 7

KTVB.COM

Posted on April 28, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 5:10 AM

BOISE – We have been getting a lot phone calls and e-mail into our newsroom lately inquiring about what is being built near the Boise Airport.

It may look like a bridge, but it's actually a piece of highly sophisticated equipment that will help pilots land in Boise during the worst type of weather conditions.

The large structure is an instrument landing system, or ILS.  It helps guide pilots to within feet of the ground.  Then high-intensity lights, which haven't been installed yet, will guide pilots to the runway.

The Boise Airport already has an ILS system, but this will upgrade the current system to the highest category, which means pilots will be able to land at the airport in poor visibility, or about 600 feet.

Gordon Stewart is the Air Traffic Manager and says the new technology will help cut down on flight delays.

“This approach system is going to help prevent delays, and in the worst case letting planes get in or not depart at all,” said Stewart.

In order to use the new ILS system, a pilot will have to be certified and their plane will need to be equipped for the technology.

The new system is expected to go on line this summer, but probably won't get a lot of use until the winter when weather conditions worsen.

The new ILS costs more than $1 million.  It is being funded through the Federal Aviation Administration.

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