ADB Airfield Solutions is a world-leading airfield technology company providing end-to-end, integrated and sustainable solutions for visual guidance, including airfield and airport lighting. CEO Christian Onselaere discusses expanding the company’s portfolio and the SmartExpansion Path initiative.

Can you start by introducing yourself and ADB Airfield Solutions?
Christian Onselaere: Our rich history spans more than 68 years in airfield lighting. As pioneers of LED AGL, we lead the market with more than 800,000 lights installed at 450-plus airports worldwide. ADB Group is present in more than 2,000 airports across 175 countries.

Can you tell us about your products and how you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
We offer an innovative and complete portfolio that redefines safety, performance, quality and customer service. ADB Group is the only company to offer a truly complete LED AGL portfolio that includes elevated and inset, normal and low protrusion across airside applications from runway, taxiway and apron to approach lighting.

Apart from a comprehensive services portfolio that sets us apart, customer-friendly design and innovation differentiates our products. For example, our lighting fixtures include additional watertightness barriers that reduce the risk of accidental water penetration and improve reliability.

ADB’s LED approach lighting is designed for ease of maintenance. Since typical approach lighting is often installed on high masts or poles outside the airport’s perimeter, and often in difficult terrains, our approach lighting comes with two cartridges – one for the LEDs and optics, and the other for the electronic components. This plug-and-play design makes it easier for a technician to replace defective components. When we design AGL, we look beyond basic regulatory compliance to ICAO and FAA requirements. We aim to ensure our customers enjoy the full benefit of LED’s characteristics.

What other products do you offer beyond lighting solutions and how is your portfolio looking to expand in the near future?
Beyond LED AGL and visual guidance signage, our portfolio includes power management solutions, and airfield control and monitoring systems. The ADB Power HF is the industry’s smallest constant current regulator (CCR), and its modular design makes it easier to use, maintain and scale up as airports grow. Above all, airports can achieve a greener footprint.

The advanced power supply with a unique architecture makes it easier for airports to transition to LED airfields by reducing the complexity of LED fixtures and maximising energy efficiency by 70-90%. With the acquisition of LUCEBIT, we now offer its COSAL range of ICAO-compliant systems for airfield lighting power supply, control and monitoring, which includes transformer modules, CCRs and related equipment.

We offer a comprehensive range of services – AGL audit and survey, installation and commissioning, training, tools, product check-ups, airside inspection and maintenance, spares and support, among others.
What brings our offering together is the SmartExpansion Path methodology – a complete toolbox for airports that need to address challenges of airside operations and plan growth with ADB’s help. We can support complex airfield infrastructure projects as an end-to-end airfield solutions provider.

We also offer a range of complementary solutions through strong partnerships with brands like ewo for LED apron floodlighting, Exel Composites for frangible airfield structures, FB Tech for photometric measurement solutions, Luxsolar for obstruction lighting, and Holland Aviation for portable lights and wind cones.

How does your SmartExpansion Path initiative feed into the development of products?
With SmartExpansion Path, we work with an airport to explore its current situation and bottlenecks and jointly plan a future set-up that efficiently meets the airport’s growth ambitions, which could be energy efficiency, capacity or costs, for example.
Products and solutions are a key element of SmartExpansion Path, which is an integrated approach that looks at airport expansion in the context of eight domains of airfield operations. These include data-driven traffic management, detailed airside audit and survey, intuitive AGL design, innovative AGL products and related solutions, robust system integration, dedicated services and project management, in-depth training, and proactive maintenance.

What effects do adverse weather conditions have on operations?
ADB’s LED AGL portfolio is designed to weather extreme environments, from the humidity of Singapore that reaches as high as 80%, to Russia, whose winter temperature can fall below [freezing], or to the hot and scorching highs of the Middle East, where temperatures rise to 50°C.

With more than 2,000 installations already, where do you see expansion for ADB in the future?
Over the years, we’ve experienced a rapid increase in demands from customers that has led to a considerable expansion of our offering. We have always been strong in developing products together with our customers based on their feedback and requests. The same has happened with our services and system offer. It has evolved according to customer requirements.
We saw a clear need to redefine our end-to-end offering and extend it to include our expertise in airside auditing and traffic management. SmartExpansion Path reflects this evolution, and allows us to support the complete design-build-maintain cycle of airside infrastructure projects.

Our focus, today and in the future, will always be putting our customer’s needs first.