ALF1

Airport Liighting Expert Anyone ?

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I have been flying into some airports lately like KJAC or KASE and even if the weather is clear taxiing on the centerline can be difficult. Anyone know why these airports don't have taxiway centerline lights ? I realize that recessed lighting can be expensive but still.....seems like it is needed.

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12 hours ago, ALF1 said:

I have been flying into some airports lately like KJAC or KASE and even if the weather is clear taxiing on the centerline can be difficult. Anyone know why these airports don't have taxiway centerline lights ? I realize that recessed lighting can be expensive but still.....seems like it is needed.

 

Hi Alberto!

Very expensive for an airport to install and maintain. Most airports will have blue taxiway edge lighting but green taxiway center-line lights are only generally at an aerodrome equipped for low visibility operations (With CAT II/III approaches and all the appropriate approach lights/critical areas) where taxiways are equipped with green centreline lighting.

I'm guessing KJAC/KSAE only offer NPA's or CAT I only? It might different in the States but this would generally be the case in Europe.

 

 


 

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14 hours ago, ALF1 said:

I have been flying into some airports lately like KJAC or KASE and even if the weather is clear taxiing on the centerline can be difficult. Anyone know why these airports don't have taxiway centerline lights ? I realize that recessed lighting can be expensive but still.....seems like it is needed.

If the weather is clear, why not just follow the centerline itself (the yellow centerline stripe). Quite a number of airports don't have centerline lighting. Unless it's a large airport, you're really not going to find it very often. Neither of these airports remain open if the weather gets too nasty, due to their location (mountainous terrain), so the investment is not worth it. If the weather is low enough to merit the centerline lighting, it's usually going to be closed anyway.

Flying into IAD, you have mins down to 200 AGL, and 1800' visibility. There are also approaches that have much lower mins into IAD, for lower vis conditions. Flying into JAC, it's 600 AGL and 2 SM vis or 200 AGL and 3/4SM vis, at the lowest. With clouds that high, and a lateral vis requirement of 2 miles, it's going to be pretty clear where seeing the painted centerline won't be difficult.

As Sam mentioned, that type of lighting is expensive (especially when not set into the concrete when it was initially poured), and maintenance is an additional cost over time. If you're not conducting operations in low visibility all the time, it's really not worth it. Given the edge lights and a decent taxi light, you'll be able to see the lighted edges and the painted centerline.

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You can easily check the charts, but that would be what is there real world and not what you have in the either default or addon airport. In RW KJAC has centerline lights and KASE, which has a wickedly steep approach, does not. The lights are a consideration when establishing low minimum approaches, which cannot be done at KASE.  Also, most airport sceneries in simulation do not turn on lights during the day even if the field is IFR.  If you want centerline lights, get a copy of ADE and revise the airport by adding them.

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Thanks for the replies guys. All pretty much in line with what I had thought.

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The taxiway center line lights are part of what's call the Surface Movement Guidance and Control System,or SMGCS (pronounced SMEGS).  A bit much to explain in detail here but a quick Google search has plenty of information if you are interested.

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8 hours ago, JoeDiamond said:

The taxiway center line lights are part of what's call the Surface Movement Guidance and Control System,or SMGCS (pronounced SMEGS).  A bit much to explain in detail here but a quick Google search has plenty of information if you are interested.

I actually had to manage an FAA approved list of foreign LVO/SMGCS airports when I worked over at HQ. Finally got them into a database-based solution (well...kind of database-based-ish - I was forced to use SharePoint) to get around all of the duplicate efforts of passing Excel sheets around via email and trying to coordinate updates from a bunch of different people.

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Joe Diamond and Kyle, I am very glad you expanded on this topic. There is still plenty out there that Pro's like you know that we don't.

FASCINATING !

I had never come across any of this in all these years, the peculiarities of the system. Here is a good link to all of it.

 

http://www.gofir.com/aviation_accident_prevention_program/runway_safety_program/html/surface_movement_guidance_system.htm

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