case

All-weather flight safety and efficiency

Vaisala forward scatter FD70
Iceland
Published: Dec 1, 2022
Roads
Weather & Environment

How an airport on a remote Icelandic island ensures year-round flights using the Vaisala Forward Scatter Sensor FD70

The client: Isavia
Vaisala provided: Forward Scatter Sensor FD70

The challenge: Remote location, wild weather

Some airports have very few weather challenges. Others have nearly all of them. The remote island of Grímsey straddles the Arctic Circle 40 km north of Iceland. This Icelandic island has about 60 residents plus visitors who rely on Grímsey Airport for transportation as well as supplies and services — especially because ocean transport can be treacherous in this region. With only a handful of flights occurring each week, weather- related downtime is not an option.

Grímsey Airport must operate in every kind of weather, which can occur any time of year. Rain, snow, ice, high winds, salt and low visibility are all common conditions here, so precise weather and visibility detection are crucial for making accurate decisions and maximizing uptime.

Isavia, the organization who operates and maintains the airport, is tasked with ensuring safe and efficient flights no matter what the weather brings. When it was time to replace their visibility and present weather sensor, Isavia sought the highest quality and most dependable solution available.

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All-weather flight safety and efficiency

The solution: The standard in airport weather accuracy

Because of their longtime experience using Vaisala technology, Isavia confidently chose the Vaisala Forward Scatter Sensor FD70 to optimize airport operations and ensure safe flights.

The FD70 sets the standard in airport weather accuracy, detecting 100% of precipitation from the lightest drop to the end of the storm. As the leading forward scatter technology for visibility and present weather, including runway visual range (RVR), the pioneering FD70 provides constant, reference grade performance — even freezing drizzle and rain, ice pellets, and intense or mixed precipitation.

"Grímsey is small community with important ties to the rest of Iceland, so inhabitants depend on Grímsey Airport for everything from imported goods to transportation. The FD70 is critical for helping us ensure safe and efficient flights, especially in freezing conditions."
Hjördís Þórhallsdóttir, District Manager, Isavia

Clear messages and remote performance monitoring minimize maintenance, and the FD70’s rugged, modular design with no moveable or consumable parts can stand up to every kind of weather.

The benefit: All-weather confidence

Isavia never misses a weather event, thanks to the unprecedented accuracy and reliability of the FD70. The organization can focus on airport operations without worrying about maintaining the sensor, which is important at this remote location. For example, the FD70 status messages indicate when windows are getting dirty in advance, which saves time.

The FD70’s robust design, downward looking geometry, heated window, and dirt and salt compensation algorithm all combine to provide long maintenance intervals and ensure reliability. Isavia can operate this crucial airport with confidence all year round to serve this community and everyone who visits.

About Isavia

Isavia Air Navigation Services ANS is a subsidiary of Isavia Ltd., providing air navigation services to domestic and international flights within the Reykjavik Control Area. With a size of about 5.4 million square kilometers, the Reykjavik Control Area is one of the largest control areas in the world. The area stretches from the west of Greenland to the prime meridian, from the north pole all the way south of the Faroe Islands. Every day, about 400 aircraft pass through the Reykjavik Control Area.

All-weather flight safety and efficiency

All-weather flight safety and efficiency

The remote island of Grímsey straddles the Arctic Circle 40 km north of Iceland. This Icelandic island has about 60 residents plus visitors who rely on Grímsey Airport for transportation as well as supplies and services — especially because ocean transport can be treacherous in this region. With only a handful of flights occurring each week, weather- related downtime is not an option.