Victoria Park Stadium is a multi-sports facility with a difference, the athletes using the stadium share airspace with an active MOD runway. To be able to make use of the stadium in the evenings for both training and competitive purposes, the hockey pitch required lighting, however fixed masts would present problems due to their close proximity to the runway. The solution, Abacus base-hinged sequencing masts.
Sequencing masts allow the lighting system to be used when required, then lowered safely to ground level when necessary. In some installations this has been necessitated to maintain a clear skyline or to meet planning permissions, but the challenge for the Victoria Park hockey pitch arose from fixed lighting masts possibly interfering with incoming MOD air traffic. Four base-hinged GL400 masts were installed around the pitch, two on the spectator side functioning as standard base-hinged Raise and Lower masts, and two on the runway side designed to lower on command.
The two masts on the spectator side were safe to be left in the raised position, with the ability to lower to ground level for maintenance to be undertaken at a safe height using a counterbalance. The two masts on the runway side are base-hinged masts with a hydraulic cylinder fitted to the base section, these are controlled from a single central point to lower, saving time by removing the requirement for a counterbalance on each mast. These two sequencing masts can be lowered quickly by the MODs air traffic control team should any unscheduled emergency landings need to take place. An additional benefit of raising and lowering the masts is the time and cost savings to carry out maintenance safely at ground level without the need to hire expensive equipment.