Alfred Seiterle is a 40-year veteran in design and engineering of aviation ground lighting, power and emergency-power supply, floodlighting and control and monitoring. After starting out as a project engineer in 1972, in 1990 he started his own company, Aeroplan Seiterle Engineering Ltd, which provides independent consulting and project management services. Since 1996 Seiterle has also participated in the ICAO as an Adviser of the Visual Aids Working Group, and has helped set IEC standards for airport equipment in TC-97.
After attending OCEM’s INSPIRED by AFL training seminar in February, Seiterle took a few minutes to discuss how the airfield market has changed over the years, where he thinks the industry is headed, and why OCEM’s training programs offer something for new airfield professionals and seasoned veterans alike.
OCEM Airfield Technology: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today, Mr. Seiterle! Given your decades of experience in the airfield ground lighting market, we were wondering: what are some major shifts in the market you have observed over the years?
Alfred Seiterle: At first we just had halogen lamps, but thanks to new technologies being developed for runways and flood lights, there was an evolution from analog to digital electronics. Now we are seeing a change to LED technology, which is very interesting. I think LED brings a game-changing situation to the market. Over the last three or four years we have seen LED technology for runway lighting and mature smart systems coming up.
OCEM: Where do you see the airfield market going in the future? What will airfield lighting and control companies need to do to meet their customer’s needs?
AS: In regards to the growth of the air traffic, more and more airports needs to improve the capacity of their runway systems and the movement area. Advanced Movement, Guidance and Control Systems (A-SMGCS) will help bear the increasing traffic load, especially under inverse visibility conditions. The key elements will be sustainable CCR’s, reliable addressable lamp switches, and durable LED fixtures with a small environemental footprint.
OCEM: In February you attended our training seminar INSPIRED by AGL, which included both lectures and a tour of our production facilities. Why are these types of seminars valuable both for young professionals just starting out in the field, and industry veterans such as yourself?
AS: The seminar offered a good amount of information about the industry regulations, international standards, important bodies. It was a brief explanation but it included all the important information. I think for people who are newer to the field, it takes about 5 years to really learn the industry, and the training you gave is a good place for them to start with to get an overall understanding of it. For those of us with more experience, it’s important to gather information about the latest products, new technologies, new possibilities. Of specific interest was the visit in the production hall and the state-of-the-art development labs and test facilities. We always need to know where the industry is going and what it can accomplish for our clients.
We saw that OCEM has made a big push toward quality; it has the right philosophy and knows what it’s doing. OCEM is also a company that is close to the customer, the design, the consultants. I think that will be appreciated, especially in regard to the evolution in the airport lighting industry. For the airports it is important to have competitive AGL products in quality and price.
OCEM Airfield Technology organizes monthly training seminars to accommodate our partners’ varying schedules and needs. Hundreds of people have joined us over the past year – we hope you will be next! Please email email@example.com for more information and to view our event calendar.
OCEM Airfield Technology | Marketing & Communication Team
Lighting the Future
OCEM Airfield Technology is a leading global airfield lighting provider with close to a century of experience in the airfield industry. It has supplied AGL solutions and systems to more than 1,100 airports on six continents and has installed more than 200 airfield control monitoring systems worldwide. Headquartered in Italy, OCEM has production activity in Italy (Bologna), the U.S. (Chicago), France (Nice) and China (Suzhou), and sales and technical support in South Korea, India, China, the UK, Italy, France, U.S., Mexico and Brazil.