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Runway Status Lights System Description

    Concept of Operations
  • Runway Status Lights is an essential FAA system which uses Airport Surface Surveillance data to determine vehicle and aircraft locations. Runway Status Lights processes this data using complex software algorithms with adjustable parameters to control airfield lights in accordance with Air Traffic operations, including anticipated separation. Red airfield lights (Runway Entrance Lights and Takeoff Hold Lights) illuminate and extinguish as vehicles and aircraft traverse the airfield.
  • Runway Status Lights integrates airport lighting equipment with approach and surface surveillance systems to provide a visual signal to pilots and vehicle operators indicating that it is unsafe to enter/cross or begin takeoff on runway. The system is fully automated based on inputs from surface and terminal surveillance systems. Airport surveillance sensor inputs are processed through light control logic that commands in-pavement lights to illuminate red when there is traffic on or approaching the runway.
    • Runway Entrance Lights (RELs) provide signal to aircraft crossing entering runway from intersecting taxiway
    • Takeoff Hold Lights (THLs) provide signal to aircraft in position for takeoff

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