The National Academies

ACRP 04-03 [Final]

Guidebook for Approach Light System Hazard Assessment and Mitigation

  Project Data
Research Agency: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Principal Investigator: Dr. Ronald B. Gibbons
Effective Date: 10/5/2007
Completion Date: 2/2/2009

Approach light systems (ALS) provide pilots of landing aircraft with visual guidance to the runway.  These systems start at the end of the runway and are located on the extended runway centerline. The approach lights are positioned on structures that may or may not be frangible, and, because of their location, these systems can be hazardous to aircraft that undershoot or overrun the runway.


Standards for approach light systems are based on aircraft operation; they do not address issues such as emergency access to accident/incident sites or hazards to passengers and first responders from high-voltage lighting systems that may remain energized after an accident/incident occurs in the light lane area.  


Research is needed to develop a guidebook that airport operators, in conjunction with other responsible agencies, can use to assess risk and mitigate approach light system hazards.


The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook for airport operators on (1) performing a risk assessment of hazards associated with approach light systems and (2) determining measures that can be taken to mitigate the identified hazards. 


Status: Completed. 

Product Availability: This guidance was published as ACRP Research Results Digest 6The contractor's final report is available online as ACRP Web-Only Document 4.

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