Pedestrians follow traffic lights when crossing the street, but have you ever wondered how passenger aircraft in civil aviation adhere to ground traffic signals?
The process is more intricate, involving various airport ground lighting equipment. Let's delve into the details.
When you observe an aircraft taking off or landing at night, you may notice the diverse colors of the signal lights on the runway.
These lights are just a part of the broader airport ground lighting equipment.
These lights are crucial in providing pilots with essential information during takeoff, landing, and navigating in low visibility conditions to ensure flight safety.
Approach Lights serve as an extension of the runway, guiding pilots gradually toward the ground until they enter the runway. The approach can span up to 1,000 meters and is constructed entirely of lights.
Runway Lights, essential for safe takeoff and landing, consisting of various components such as runway identification lights, entrance lights, ground strip lights, end lights, center lights, and boundary lights. Runway identification lights, positioned at each end of the runway, are bright, flashing lights.
Entrance Lights are green on one end and red on the other, guiding pilots to the correct runway. Ground strip lights, extending 750 meters from the runway end, have white lights and alert pilots of a critical landing area.
Centerline Lights are white lights along the runway's center, while boundary lights mark the runway's width. Entry lights at both ends of the runway are green.
Obstruction Lights, usually red, indicate danger and restricted passage. Installed on high points like mountain tops, lighthouses, chimneys, and tall buildings, they help pilots avoid obstacles.
Obstacles below 50 meters have a single red light, while those above 50 meters have a string of red lights, indicating their three-dimensional height. Elevated bridges near airports also feature red lights to show their span.
Airport Identification Lights assist pilots in locating the airport during landing. These bright flashing lights, typically white-green-white-green, guide pilots from a distance. If an airport is near water, the green light changes to yellow.
Taxiway Lights, like street lights, include blue edge and green centerline lights. Entrance and exit points have blue signals to guide pilots on taxiways.
Slide Lights indicate the correct slide angle for pilots during the approach, helping them maintain a normal trajectory. The system emits red and white beams – white for the right angle, all white for slipping too far, and all red for a low slip angle.
Understanding the functionality of these airport ground lighting equipment components ensures smooth and safe air travel during challenging conditions such as nighttime or foggy weather.