Pangborn Airport is completely shut down for three days while a new lighting system is being installed.

The closure shuts off the airport's only daily commercial flight to Seattle on Horizon Air.

Stacie de Mestre with the Chelan Douglas Port Authority says the new lights solve a major problem with visibility during bad weather.

"Based on past data we believe this new lighting system will help recover 60 percent of lost flights," said de Mestre. "In the winter time, often times, Horizon cannot get in because of poor visibility."

The next commercial flight to Seattle will be on Saturday.

The new lights will reduce the visibility required to land an airplane from one mile to a half-mile.

The closure is required because a contractor is demolishing pavement at the end of the runaway to install some of the lights.

The Lighting upgrade involves installing a Medium-intensity Approach Lighting System with Runway alignment indicator lights (MALSR).

The contractor will install foundations and conduit for the MALSR lights and build a service road between those lights.

The runway will also be closed at night Nov. 12-14 from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.

The lighting projects completion date of the project is set for Dec. 2.

It has an overall cost of roughly $4 million, including $2.9 in construction costs.

de Mestre thinks the lighting update could be a game changer in a positive direction for Pangborn Airport.

"I believe so," de Mestre said. "It's going to enhance the reliability of getting flights in and out of here. And I think it could potentially attract future air service."

Frequent users of the airport that'll benefit from the new lighting system include air cargo carriers such as UPS and Fedex, air ambulance services and business jets.

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