New lights ordered for airport

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Brookhaven Municipal Airport officials Monday made preparationsto replace runway lights that were destroyed by vandals during theweekend.

Airport Manager Boyce Bullock and electrician Bob Brown revieweda runway schematic to determine what kind of replacement lightswould be needed. Bullock said an order for new lights was being puttogether.

“They ought to be back on Wednesday. We’re hoping, anyhow,”Bullock said.

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Bullock said Monday that all but three or four of the 88 runwaylights were destroyed. Several protective globes were salvaged.

The airport is closed for nighttime landings until new lightsarrive. Bullock and Brown inspected the runway Monday to determinebulb and globe placement.

“They’re color-coded to tell pilots where they are on therunway,” Bullock said.

Red lights are located at the end of the runway while clearlights are in the middle, with multi-colored lights at severalintermediate points, Bullock said. Blue lights are used on theairplane taxi lane.

The lights were damaged some time between 11:30 p.m. Saturdayand 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Bullock said the globes were removed and thebulbs tossed onto the runway.

The airport was closed Sunday while crews cleared the runway ofthe broken glass. Airport officials Monday expressed concerns abouta potentially dangerous situation.

“It’s a risk to the public as a result of (the vandalism)…,”said Paul Barnett, chairman of the airport’s advisory board. “Wewere very lucky somebody didn’t land on that glass.”

Brookhaven police were continuing an investigation into thevandalism. Bullock said it is a federal offense to tamper withairport property, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation couldalso become involved in trying to determine who broke the runwaylights.

“If they get caught, they’ve got a problem,” Bullock said.