Runway Approach Lights
Your approach lighting systems forms a central part of the complete Aviation Ground Lighting pattern, with High and Low intensity approach systems available depending on the unique requirements of your airport.
The complete approach lighting system is made up of several parts, with each part designed to meet one or more specific lighting objectives. When combined, this system allows pilots to easily visually identify the runway environment and align their aircraft.
The extent to which a particular airport is equipped depends on its licensing category and need to continue operations during periods of poor visibility. Variations in approach lighting system will also be found between civilian and military airports – having a complete awareness of what’s required is vital to a successful installation which minimises operational disruption.
Simple airport approach lighting systems consist of a row of luminaires on the extended runway centre line, with a crossbar of 10 luminaires. It is recommended that the colour of the lights shall be such that they are distinguishable from other aeronautical ground lights and from any extraneous lighting in the vicinity of the system. Where Low Intensity (LI), simple approach lighting systems are installed, they are required to have luminaires displaying red light.
Supplementary approach lighting is only installed for CAT II or CAT III operations and has been previously referred to as SHINGALS (Supplementary High Intensity Narrow Gauge Approach Lighting System). It is the same spacing as used on Touchdown lighting, TDZ, and the aiming point surface markings. The fixtures used for supplementary approach applications are the same as those used for the high intensity approach system, but red filters are fitted to luminaires for side row barrettes.
Approach Lighting FAQ
What type of approach light can I use?
Luminaires for high intensity approach lighting systems may be inset or elevated, depending on their position in the system. High intensity inset luminaires are used where the approach system is partially installed in the paved area
Are approach lights frangible ?
Elevated approach lights and their supporting structures shall be frangible. Where the height of a supporting structure exceeds 12m, the frangibility requirement shall apply to the top 12m only, and where a supporting structure is surrounded by non-frangible objects, only that part of the structure that extends above the surrounding objects shall be frangible
What is a simple approach lighting system?
A simple approach lighting system consists of a row of lights on the extended centre line of the runway extending, whenever possible, over a distance of not less than 420 m from the threshold with a row of lights forming a crossbar 18m or 30m in length at a distance of 300m from the threshold.
What is a Precision approach category II and III lighting system?
This type of approach lighting system usually consists of a row of lights on the extended centre line of the runway, extending, wherever possible, over a distance of 900 m from the runway threshold.
Why do we need an approach system?
The complete Approach Lighting system is made up of several parts, each designed to meet one or more lighting objectives. When combined, the system makes it easy for pilots to visually identify the runway environment and correctly align the aircraft with the runway.
An effective Approach Lighting system will significantly enhance the safety of aircraft operations, particularly during periods of poor visibility. The extent to which a particular airport is equipped will depend upon its licensing category and the need to continue operations during periods of poor visibility.