Tsay Keh Dene First Nation, a rural Canadian First Nations community, relies on a 4,500 ft runway to move supplies, groceries, and community members to nearby towns. One of the runway’s most critical uses is medical evacuation. With the nearest hospital over 5 hours away by logging road, the Community is dependent on air transport for medical evacuations and supplies. The absence of runway edge and threshold lighting after dusk meant that the Community would have to wait until morning before medevac crews could arrive.
Thanks to funding from the Canadian Government’s Innovative Clean Energy Fund, the Tsay Keh Dene Community was able to outfit their airfield with Carmanah solar LED runway lighting to help supply and medevac aircraft navigate their way to and from the remote village. Tsay Keh Dene Chief Dennis Izony comments that the solar-powered airfield project is one that the community has requested for some time. “We discuss improvements at Community meetings, and the airfield lighting project always comes up. It was a fast and simple solution for something that will greatly benefit the safety of the community and pilots.”
The first solar-powered airfield of its kind in British Columbia, Carmanah’s airfield lighting systems are ideal in remote and extreme environments where long-term reliability and trouble-free operation are required. Tsay Keh Dene Nation member Stacey Pierre advises others communities considering deploying solar-powered airfield lights for their remote runways: “If you‘re in a remote community, we would highly encourage it—for the safety of the community.”