Runway Lighting Explained | Summary and Q&A

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October 1, 2016
by
Doofer911
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Runway Lighting Explained

TL;DR

This video provides a detailed explanation of the different lighting systems found on airport runways, including runway end lights, runway edge lights, centerline lights, touchdown zone lights, and approach lighting systems.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the purpose of runway end lights?

Runway end lights are built into the ends of the runway and serve as a warning to pilots that they are approaching the end of the runway. Red lights face towards the center of the runway to signal the need to stop, while green lights face outwards to indicate that there is more runway ahead.

Q: How do centerline lights on runways change to warn pilots?

Centerline lights on runways are white lights that run along the centerline. Towards the far end of the runway, the lights begin alternating between white and red, and in the final 1000 feet, all lights turn red to signal that the end of the runway is approaching.

Q: What are touchdown zone lights used for?

Touchdown zone lights are groups of three white lights on either side of the runway centerline. They start at the runway threshold and extend down the runway for 3,000 feet, helping pilots identify the touchdown zone on the runway.

Q: What is the purpose of approach lighting systems?

Approach lighting systems provide an extended centerline for pilots during landing. They often include a decision bar, a series of lights approximately 1,000 feet away from the runway, to help pilots determine whether to continue with the landing or perform a go-around procedure.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Runway end lights are either red or green, with red lights facing the center of the runway as a warning to stop and green lights indicating that the runway continues ahead.

  • Runway edge lights are white lights that change to yellow towards the far end of the runway to warn pilots of the approaching end.

  • Centerline lights run along the centerline of the runway, changing to alternating between white and red in the final 1000 feet and all red in the last 1000 feet to signal the end of the runway.

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