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FAA Requests Pilot Feedback on LED Lighting at Airports

Jan. 16, 2015

In an effort to more effectively deploy LED lighting technology at airports and heliports, the FAA is seeking input from pilots with their experience with Light Emitting Diode (LED) airport/heliport lighting during approach, landing, ground movement and take-off phases of flight.

NBAA participation will help members of the NBAA Access Committee’s Air Traffic, Airspace and Flight Technologies Subcommittee play an active part in an operationally effective deployment of this technology.

Take the FAA survey.

Last fall, the FAA held a symposium regarding LED lamps and their application on airports.

At this symposium, the FAA made technical presentations on LED research, and outlined a proposed operational flight test plan for LED approach light systems that could be deployed in the U.S. National Airspace System. LED airport lighting has been an item of interest for FAA’s Flight Standards Service for a number of years, and the focus has primarily been on the issues involving enhanced flight vision systems and the inability to “see” LEDs due to the lack of an infrared signature.

The FAA noted that little operational flight testing has been done, because the FAA has not installed LED approach lighting at any location other than at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, NJ. Additionally, many airports have expressed an interest in replacing traditional incandescent lighting with LEDs for economic reasons, including airport ground lighting such as approach light systems, runway centerline, taxiway, and ramp lighting.

The agency said it intends to sponsor the development of an LED flight test plan, which will include all the appropriate FAA services and offices, as well as input from those in the aviation industry who wish to participate.

Feedback regarding LED lighting is desired in the form of ASRS filings, and via NBAA directly through Bob Lamond at rlamond@nbaa.org.