Aviation Light Signals

March 27, 2017

Blog Post

Over the course of the human history, communication played a very important role in our daily lives. Communication is an essential part of learning, and we tend to learn new things from people who we communicate with. Even animals communicate with each other through sound, smell and body language. Many people believe that communication is just as important as breathing. People communicate with each other in different ways such as listening, speaking a language, posture and facial expressions, music, pictures, writing, and many more forms of communication. And this week we’re going to discuss about what kind of communication is used in aviation, especially in airports and other aircraft landing sites.

airport-wallpapers-005

In aviation lighting, communication also plays a very important role both to the pilot and to the air traffic controller. Communication between the pilot and the air traffic controller comes in the form of light signals. In case of communication failure or when an aircraft isn’t equipped with a radio, light signals are used using a signal lamp. Signal lamps have focused bright beams that can generate red, white and green lights which can be steady or flashing. Each of these colours and patterns are instructions for aircraft pilots and have a specific meaning, depending whether the aircraft is in flight or on the ground. The aircraft pilot must recognize both the colour and pattern (steady or flashing) to properly decode the message from the control tower. Aircraft pilots can acknowledge these instructions by rocking the aircraft wings, moving the ailerons, or by flashing their navigation lights.

Aviation Light Signal Colours and their meanings

Just like a traffic light, aviation light signals use three different colours. However, instead of red, green and amber colours used by road traffic signals, the Air Traffic Control light signals use the colours red, green and white. As mentioned above, each of these colours have a specific meaning and vary depending whether the aircraft is in flight or on the ground.

Aviation Light Signals on the Ground

Steady Green Light – The steady green light signal on the ground means the aircraft is cleared for takeoff and the pilot may proceed for takeoff.

Flashing Green – The flashing green light signal on the ground means that the aircraft is cleared or authorized to taxi.

Steady Red – The steady red light means the aircraft must stop immediately and hold their position.

Flashing Red –The flashing red light means the aircraft must taxi clear of the runway in use or get off the runway. The air traffic controller wants the aircraft pilot to find the nearest taxiway and get off the runway to allow other aircrafts to use the runway.

Flashing White – The flashing white signal means the aircraft pilot must return to their starting point. The air traffic controller wants the pilot to return to the airport parking apron.

Alternating Red/Green – In countries such as the United States, the alternating red/green signal light means an important warning to the aircraft pilot to exercise extreme caution.

Aviation Light Signals in the Air

Steady Green – Green signal lights always indicate a GO. This means the aircraft is cleared to land.

Flashing Green – The flashing green light signal to an aircraft in flight means the aircraft should return for landing and is essentially a Go-Around command. The aircraft do not have a clearance to land, so the aircraft must return for landing via Go-Around.

Steady Red – Red light signals always indicate a stop command. However, an aircraft in flight is impossible to stop. So red light signal for an aircraft in flight means, the aircraft must continue circling and give way to other aircrafts until the air traffic controller indicates that you are cleared to land by giving a steady green light.

Flashing Red – A Flashing Red light signal to an aircraft in flight indicates danger, the airport is unsafe and do not land.

Alternating Red/Green –Alternating Red/Green light signal applies to both aircraft on the ground and in flight. It indicates the aircraft pilot to exercise extreme caution.

Light signals are rarely used today by aircraft pilots because of the presence of radio for communication. However, radios are not always reliable and sometimes stop working. In times of communication failure, this will come in handy and is really important for aircraft navigation. An aircraft pilot will have the need to fall back on Aviation Light Signals for communication in order to avoid accident and ensure safety.





Related Posts

Aircraft Warning Lights for Telecommunication Towers
Aircraft Warning Lights for Telecommunication Towers
Uncategorized
Usually, telecommunication towers are high buildings which are designed for supporting antennas for telecommunication and broadcasting, including...
FAA Lighting and Marking Guidelines for Structures
FAA Lighting and Marking Guidelines for Structures
Uncategorized
Working with something without proper guidelines can be a bit troublesome. Imagine how hard it is to start from scratch without any idea on what...
Aviation Warning Lighting
Aviation Warning Lighting
Uncategorized
Have you ever travelled to the famous city of Paris and visited the Eiffel tower? Have you wandered the city at night and noticed the Eiffel tower...

Comments are closed.