PARTNERING WITH FLORIDA AIRPORTS FOR SAFER AIRFIELDS
“Preparing Airfields Today for a Safer Tomorrow!” is Hi-Lite’s primary mission and Hi-Lite’s partnership with Florida airports validates the company’s commitment to safety and compliance.
ADDRESSING REGIONAL CONCERNS
Hi-Lite is a valuable resource to Florida airports taking proactive maintenance initiatives. For nearly five years Hi-Lite has been taking care of several airfield maintenance activities through the Florida Department of Transportation Statewide Airfield Markings Contract. In addition to horizontal signage, Hi-Lite offers runway rubber removal, friction testing, and application of specialty markings to make sure all people who travel in the state can arrive and depart safely.
One of the main issues airports face in Florida is algae contamination, which affects friction and markings visibility. Due to this safety concern, it has been a priority for Hi-Lite’s Regional Business Director Brian Garratt to help address these types of regional concerns through site visits and consultation with airports. Hi-Lite has been working in various options for airports to address this issue.
“One of the safety concerns we see with algae contamination is the loss of friction under raining conditions. Particularly in taxiway connectors, which prevents airports from carrying out safe operations. Under rainy conditions, mildew contamination causes loss of friction leading to potential runway incursions or collision with other aircraft. Another issue with algae contamination is the obscuring of critical markings needed for landing in touchdown zones. These markings should be brought back to life to ensure safer landings and enhance pilot situational awareness” adds Garratt.
In 2015, Hi-Lite designed the “Gator” water pressure cleaning machine specifically for Florida airports. This piece of equipment is dedicated to projects executed through the FDOT Markings Contract to conduct surface preparation and markings’ cleaning. “Given Hi-Lite’s innovative tradition of manufacturing and adjusting equipment to fit its needs, we designed the Gator since we saw a major need for surface preparation and cleaning of markings in our FDOT jobs” mentions Christopher Miller, Chief Operations Officer for Hi- Lite Airfield Services. “Our field crews have experienced extraordinary results with quality of markings and we have plans to manufacture two more Gators in late 2017” adds Miller. Prior to joining Hi-Lite, Miller specialized in engineering and hydro-demolition and served as General Manager for a Tampa based waterblasting equipment manufacturer. The “Gator” was designed in Hi-Lite’s Sarasota office and assembled in the St. Augustine maintenance facility.
In addition to equipment, Hi-Lite enhances the cleaning process with mold, mildew, and algae cleaner. For over 20 years now, Hi-Lite has been using the AEROGREEN products to combat algae and other issues in airfield pavement. In 2009, Hi-Lite acquired Hi-Lite Solutions and purchased the rights to the AEROGREEN product line. AEROGREEN is an environmentally preferred option to corrosive and harmful chemicals used in the market to removed rubber and other contaminants. AEROGREEN products are safe for personnel, equipment, lighting, landscaping, and offer superior results. Specifically for mildew and algae, Hi-Lite technicians utilize AEROGREEN 4025 in the water pressure cleaning process to enhance results and use less water pressure, which protects the integrity of the pavement.
A cleaner airfield improves the curb appeal of facilities, mitigates danger by allowing pilots to see markings, and slows pavement deterioration. Hi-Lite encourages Florida airports to take advantage of the FDOT Statewide Markings Contract to prepare airfields today for a safer tomorrow.