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United States Department of TransportationUnited States Department of Transportation

Runway Status Lights Vehicle Operator Reference Guide

Runway Entrance Lights: The Runway Entrance Lights system is composed of flush mounted, in-pavement, unidirectional fixtures that are parallel to and focused along the taxiway centerline and directed toward the pilot at the hold line. A specific array of Runway Entrance Lights include the first light at the hold line followed by a series of evenly spaced lights to the runway edge; and one additional light at the runway centerline in line with the last two lights before the runway edge (See FIG 2-1-9). When activated, these red lights indicate that there is high speed traffic on the runway or there is an aircraft on final approach within the activation area.

Refer to the following caption.
Fig. 2-1-9: Runway Status Light System
  • Whenever a vehicle operator observes the red Runway Entrance Lights illuminated, that operator will stop at the runway hold short line and remain stopped.
  • Vehicle operators may observe several cycles of the Runway Entrance Lights turning on and off while waiting for an Air Traffic Control clearance.
  • DO NOT proceed when the Runway Entrance Lights have extinguished without an Air Traffic Control clearance. Runway Status Lights verifies an Air Traffic Control clearance, it DOES NOT substitute for an Air Traffic Control clearance.
  • If an Air Traffic Control clearance is in conflict with the Runway Entrance Lights, do not cross over the red lights. Contact Air Traffic Control and advise that you are stopped due to red lights. (ex.: "Orlando Ground, Ops 2 is holding short of runway 36 Left at Echo due to red lights").
  • If the vehicle is entering the runway (past the runway hold short marking) and the Runway Entrance Lights illuminate, the vehicle should clear the runway immediately and notify the Air Traffic Control tower.

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