Runway Status Lights

Runway Status Lights

Runway Status Lights (RWSL) is a fully automatic advisory safety system as a part of an ongoing effort to explore new technologies to increase safety during airport ground operations. [cite web| url =| title = Runway Status Lights| accessdate = 2007-01-21| date = 2006-09-27| language = English]


The Federal Aviation Administration as part of its Runway Incursion Reduction Program and under United States Air Force contract number F19 F19628-00-C-002 has sponsored the development of this system. The Lincoln Laboratory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology is tasked to oversee the development of this program. [cite web| url =| title = Runway Status Lights| accessdate = 2007-01-21| date = 2006-09-27| language = English]

Description of System

The lights, which turn red on the centerline of a taxiway or runway, advise pilots on their movement status. Runway Entrance Lights (RELs) illuminate when it is unsafe to enter the runway. Takeoff Hold Lights (THLs) illuminate when an aircraft is on the runway but it is unsafe to take off, due to other traffic movements on the runway. Although the lights will turn off once an aircraft has cleared the obstructing position, THLs turning off does not constitute a clearance to take off from a runway.

In the August 3, 2006 Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) [] , the FAA describes the system::"RWSL is an advisory system for use by pilots and vehicle operators and helps maintain situational awareness. It operates independently of Air Traffic Control. Status lights have two states: ON (lights are illuminated red) and OFF (lights are off) and are switched automatically based on information from the airport surface surveillance systems. These surveillance systems include airport surveillance radars (ASRs), surface detection radars (ASDE-3 or ASDE-X) and multilateration information from the ASDE-X surveillance system."

ystem Locations

Both THLs and RELs are currently being tested in the United States at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport with RELs also being tested at San Diego International Airport.


External links

[ Runway Status Lights System Home Page]

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