Members of the Mayo JPC on the runway at Knock airport

Video: Powerful runway lights at Knock brighten winter's gloom

THE bright Christmas lights which sparkle in hundreds of towns throughout Ireland these dark December evenings are mere candles compared to the powerful runway lights at Ireland West Airport Knock.

Members of the Mayo Joint Policing Committee (JPC) paid a visit to the airport on Tuesday (December 13) for a briefing on security arrangements at the facility.

As part of the presentation, Pearse Concannon, head of emergency services at the airport, brought  JPC group on a coach ride to  inspect the runway lighting system.

Our video shows the yellow-bibbed 'guests' after they had briefly disembarked from the coach to be photographed against the beautiful backdrop of colourful, high wattage, bulbs as they stretch westwards across the flat as a billiard table tarmac.

 The high intensity lights, which, on cloud free evenings, can be seen by pilots from as far away as Boyle on their approach runs to the airport, were installed as part of  the Category II Instrument Landing System in April 2009.

 As Pearse Concannon explained to JPC members, the upgraded landing system has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of flight diversions to other airports due to poor visibility. The airport is, of course, more than 200 metres above sea level.

 In the gloom of midwinter, especially as Christmas approaches, the sparkling runway lights at Knock gladden the hearts of incoming passengers, many of them emigrants returning for Christmas.