If sales at a recent Canadian company are any indication, airports are increasingly taking advantage of autonomous solar PV lighting to take over where previously hardwired systems were the norm. Carmanah Technologies Corporation said its Aviation Lighting Division has achieved a new sales record this week by surpassing the CAD$1 million (US$752,000) mark in orders for the first 49 days of 2004. The division sold more than 2,250 units of Carmanah’s solar-powered LED Aviation Lights between January 1 and February 18, 2004, for a total value of CAD$1,127,806 (US$848,244).Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – February 25, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “Carmanah’s newest division is taking off in 2004 with unprecedented growth and setting the pace for a banner year,” said Carmanah’s CEO, Art Aylesworth. “At this time last year, the Aviation Division was just getting rolling, engaging in testing and preliminary sales prior to Carmanah’s official launch into the aviation market last April.” The aviation industry is embracing the advantages of Carmanah’s solar-powered light emitting diode (LED) technology, said the company which stresses their lights are faster to install, less expensive, and offer high performance, maintenance-free operation. Since Carmanah’s official launch into aviation lighting in April 2003, more than 6,000 Carmanah Aviation Lights have been installed in over 30 countries, including U.S. military bases in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and North America and many international airports including Chicago O’Hare, Toronto Pearson, Ottawa, Auckland and Milan. The latest 2004 sales include 280 Carmanah Model 601 lights to the Japan Air Self-Defence Force (ASDF) – a purchase based on positive feedback from the U.S. Air Force – and a repeat order for 320 lights for a U.S. Air Force base in Kuwait, where there are already more than 1,000 units installed. “Aviation is an excellent market for us to be in right now”, said Aylesworth. “In this market we have found applications where our reliable autonomous lighting can be used on an unparalleled scale. The magnitude of the orders, typically starting in the hundreds of units for a single airfield, is having a multiplier effect on our sales. And with several thousand airports in the U.S. alone, we are confident the interest in our products will continue growing at a rapid rate.” Pilots have also found an additional safety benefit. Carmanah’s LED-based lighting allows them to fly with night vision goggles (NVGs) more effectively, without the “blooming” or blinding effect common with incandescent lighting alternatives. This is a contributing factor behind the U.S. military’s embrace of the lighting systems.