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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Airport Operations

Airport Lighting

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

Preface

Acknowledgements

Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making

Appendix

Glossary

Index

In-Runway Lighting
Runway centerline lighting system (RCLS)—installed on
some precision approach runways to facilitate landing under
adverse visibility conditions. They are located along the
runway centerline and are spaced at 50-foot intervals. When
viewed from the landing threshold, the runway centerline
lights are white until the last 3,000 feet of the runway. The
white lights begin to alternate with red for the next 2,000 feet.
For the remaining 1,000 feet of the runway, all centerline
lights are red.

Touchdown zone lights (TDZL)—installed on some precision
approach runways to indicate the touchdown zone when
landing under adverse visibility conditions. They consist of
two rows of transverse light bars disposed symmetrically
about the runway centerline. The system consists of steady burning
white lights which start 100 feet beyond the landing
threshold and extend to 3,000 feet beyond the landing
threshold or to the midpoint of the runway, whichever is
less.

Taxiway centerline lead-off lights—provide visual guidance
to persons exiting the runway. They are color-coded to warn
pilots and vehicle drivers that they are within the runway
environment or ILS/MLS critical area, whichever is more
restrictive. Alternate green and yellow lights are installed,
beginning with green, from the runway centerline to one
centerline light position beyond the runway holding position
or ILS/MLS critical area holding position.

Taxiway centerline lead-on lights—provide visual guidance
to persons entering the runway. These "lead-on" lights
are also color-coded with the same color pattern as leadoff
lights to warn pilots and vehicle drivers that they are
within the runway environment or instrument landing
system/microwave landing system (ILS/MLS) critical area,
whichever is more conservative. The fixtures used for lead-on
lights are bidirectional (i.e., one side emits light for the lead on
function while the other side emits light for the lead-off
function). Any fixture that emits yellow light for the lead-off
function also emits yellow light for the lead-on function.

Land and hold short lights—used to indicate the hold short
point on certain runways which are approved for LAHSO.
Land and hold short lights consist of a row of pulsing white
lights installed across the runway at the hold short point.
Where installed, the lights are on anytime LAHSO is in effect.
These lights are off when LAHSO is not in effect.

Control of Airport Lighting
Airport lighting is controlled by air traffic controllers at
towered airports. At nontowered airports, the lights may
be on a timer, or where an FSS is located at an airport, the
FSS personnel may control the lighting. A pilot may request
various light systems be turned on or off and also request a
specified intensity, if available, from ATC or FSS personnel.
At selected nontowered airports, the pilot may control the
lighting by using the radio. This is done by selecting a
specified frequency and clicking the radio microphone. For
information on pilot controlled lighting at various airports,
refer to the A/FD. [Figure 13-11]

Radio controlled runway lighting.
Figure 13-11. Radio controlled runway lighting.

Taxiway Lights
Omnidirectional taxiway lights outline the edges of the
taxiway and are blue in color. At many airports, these edge
lights may have variable intensity settings that may be
adjusted by an air traffic controller when deemed necessary
or when requested by the pilot. Some airports also have
taxiway centerline lights that are green in color.

Obstruction Lights
Obstructions are marked or lighted to warn pilots of
their presence during daytime and nighttime conditions.
Obstruction lighting can be found both on and off an airport
to identify obstructions. They may be marked or lighted in
any of the following conditions.
• Red obstruction lights—flash or emit a steady red color
during nighttime operations, and the obstructions are
painted orange and white for daytime operations.
• High intensity white obstruction lights—flash high
intensity white lights during the daytime with the
intensity reduced for nighttime.
• Dual lighting—a combination of flashing red beacons
and steady red lights for nighttime operation, and high
intensity white lights for daytime operations.

 

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