Most people hold some fascination with flying—for Walt Parkes the allure was airports. To Walt, airports represented specialty work and specialty work was his specialty. Since his purchase of O’Connell Electric in 1968, the company has kept aviation and airport work a top priority.

Early successes at Greater Rochester International Airport (GRIA) lead to work at other airports across New York for O’Connell, like Griffis Airforce Base. By the mid 80s, we had a dedicated group of people and resources focused and specializing exclusively on aviation work. Today, our Airports Division has worked at more than a third of the commercial service, reliever, and general aviation airports identified on the FAA’s NPIAS list for New York State—over 30.

O’Connell’s work at airports encompasses all new construction, upgrades, and renovations spanning the runways and taxiways, air traffic control towers, airport terminals, and out-buildings. We have vast experience installing electric vaults, NAVAIDS, AWOS, EMAS and other specialty systems, AMA lighting and signage, and more.

Aviation is undoubtedly one of the most safety driven industries in the world, demanding absolute dedication to safety procedures and a deep sense of caution and respect at every level of work—not unlike electrical work. O’Connell is vigilant about remaining up to date on all necessary certifications and clearances with the DOT, FAA and related agencies. We remain current on all airport construction operational safety and hazard prevention protocols that cover aircraft movement areas (AMA) and airport structures. On site we hold regularly scheduled meetings with airport operations and maintenance departments as well as air traffic control to establish and communicate updates relative to job-specific working rules like schedules, routes, and staffing of critical control points.


Runway/Taxiway/Threshold Lighting & Signage

  • Approach Lighting Systems (ALS)
  • Precision Approach Path Indicator Systems (PAPI)
  • Visual Approach Slope Indicator Systems (VASI)
  • Pulse Light Approach Slope Indicator Systems (PLASI)
  • Runway End Identifier Lights (REIL)
  • Touchdown Zone Lights (TDZL)
  • Inset Centerline Lighting Systems
  • Elevated Edge Lighting Systems
  • Stop-bar Lighting Systems
  • Threshold & Runway End Lights
  • Lead-Off/Lead-On Lighting
  • Guidance & Instructional Signage

Airport Structures & Facilities

  • Terminals, Towers, Hangers & Out-Buildings
  • Underground Distribution
  • Power Distribution Systems
  • Relocation Services
  • Electric & Pneumatic Instrumentation
  • Site Lighting
  • Temporary Power Services
  • Building Automation
  • PCB Transformer Replacement

Electric Vault Construction

  • Electrical Power Distribution Equipment
  • Constant Current Regulators (CCR’s)
  • Distribution Transformers
  • Airfield Lighting Control Systems
  • Pilot Controlled Lighting Systems (PCL)
  • Standby Power Systems
  • Vault Structure/Enclosure Construction

Specialty Systems

  • Instrument Landing Systems (ILS/Navaids)
  • Surface Movement Guidance & Control Systems (SMGCS)
  • Automated Weather Observing Systems (AWOS)
  • Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS)
  • Automated Weather Sensor Systems (AWSS)
  • VHF Omni-directional Radio Range Systems (VOR)
  • Terminal Radar Approach Control Systems (TRACON)
  • Engineered Materials Arrestor Systems (EMAS)
  • Voice & Data Systems
  • Security & Life Safety Systems
  • Audio & Video Systems
  • Fiber Optics Installation

Strict Adherence to All FAA Construction & Safety Guidelines

Temporary Runway Thresholds

  • Runway Threshold Displacement Bars & Markings
  • Removal/Covering of Runway Markings
  • Available Runway Distance Signage & Markings
  • Removal/Covering of Available Distance Signage & Markings
  • Temporary Threshold & Edge Lighting with Related Visual NAVAIDs
  • Runway End Identification Lighting (REIL)
  • Disconnection/Reconfiguration of Edge & Threshold Lighting with Associated Isolation Transformers
  • Covering of Edge & Threshold Lighting
  • Disabling of VGSI & Related Equipment
  • Temporary Relocation of PAPI, PLASI & VASI Systems
  • Temporary Relocation of ILS Transmitters & Electrical Equipment
  • Temporary Relocation of Approach Lighting

Runway/Taxiway Safety Areas, Obstacle-Free Zones & Object-Free Areas

  • Runway Edge & Runway End Demarcation
  • Taxiway Safety Area Demarcation

Other Construction Marking & Lighting Activities

  • Runway/Taxiway Closure Lighted “X” Signals & Yellow “X” Markings
  • Disconnection/Reconfiguration of Taxiway Lighting Circuits
  • Taxiway Rerouting Delineations—Signage/Lighting/Markings
  • Removal/Covering of Taxiway Signage/Lighting/Markings
  • Temporary Runway/Taxiway Centerline Application & Removal
  • Temporary Taxiway Edge Lighting
  • Supplemental Hazard Marking & Lighting
  • Construction, Maintenance & Closed Area Site Demarcation
  • Temporary Barricades & Aircraft Traffic Control Devices
  • Open Trench & Excavation Marking

Transformer Testing, Assembly & Commissioning

  • Doble Power Insulation Factor
  • Doble Sweep Frequency Response Analysis
  • Turns Ratio Testing
  • Winding Resistance Testing
  • Dielectric Absorption & Polarization Index
  • Design Against Installation Review & Inspection
  • Fault Analysis & Diagnostic Trouble Shooting
  • Oil Sampling & Lab Analysis

Ground System Testing

  • Soil Resistivity Testing
  • Ground Rod Testing
  • Fall-of-Potential Testing
  • Ground Grid Inspection & Connectivity Testing

Medium Voltage Collection System

  • On Spool Cable Testing
  • DC Over Potential Dielectric Testing (Hipot)
  • Very Low Frequency Testing (VLF)
  • Shield Continuity Verification
  • Circuit Phasing Verification
  • Termination / Splice Inspection
  • Fault Locating Via Magnetic Impulse, Acoustical & Arc Reflection (Radar)
  • Infra Red Testing
  • Ultra Sonic & Partial Discharge Testing

Runway/Taxiway/Threshold Maintenance

  • Inset & Elevated Lighting Systems
  • Visual Landing Systems
  • Guidance & Instructional Signage

Electric Vault Maintenance

Specialty Systems Maintenance

  • Instrument Landing Systems (ILS/Navaids)

24 Hour Emergency Response

  • Emergency Lighting Systems
  • Airfield Circuitry Troubleshooting
  • CCR Troubleshooting & Replacement
  • Power Outages & Failures
  • Switchgear Replacement
  • Transformer Replacement
  • High-Low Voltage Cable Repair & Replacement
  • Specialty & Communications Systems Troubleshooting & Repair

Airport Structure & Facility Maintenance:

  • Lighting Maintenance, Retrofit & Upgrades
  • Service Upgrades
  • Switchgear Modifications & Retrofits
  • Machine & Equipment Installation
  • Motor Control Installation
  • Standby Generator, UPS & Transfer Switch Installations
  • Temperature Controls
  • Variable Frequency Drives Installation
  • Renovation & Upgrades
  • Communications & Life Safety Systems

Technical Services

  • Preventative Electrical Maintenance
  • Infrared Scanning
  • Transformer Oil Analysis
  • Ultrasonic Scanning
  • Circuit Breaker Primary & Secondary Injection Testing
  • Megger Testing
  • Harmonic Analysis