aeronautical light beacon is a visual NAVAID displaying flashes of white
and/or colored light to indicate the location of an airport, a heliport, a
landmark, a certain point of a Federal airway in mountainous terrain, or
an obstruction. The light used may be a rotating beacon or one or more
flashing lights. The flashing lights may be supplemented by steady burning
lights of lesser intensity.
b. The color
or color combination displayed by a particular beacon and/or its auxiliary
lights tell whether the beacon is indicating a landing place, landmark,
point of the Federal airways, or an obstruction. Coded flashes of the
auxiliary lights, if employed, further identify the beacon site.
2-2-2. Code Beacons
and Course Lights
a. Code Beacons.
The code beacon, which can be seen from all directions, is used to
identify airports and landmarks. The code beacon flashes the three or four
character airport identifier in International Morse Code six to eight
times per minute. Green flashes are displayed for land airports while
yellow flashes indicate water airports.
Lights. The course light, which can be seen clearly from only one
direction, is used only with rotating beacons of the Federal Airway
System: two course lights, back to back, direct coded flashing beams of
light in either direction along the course of airway.
Airway beacons are remnants of the “lighted” airways which antedated the
present electronically equipped federal airways system. Only a few of
these beacons exist today to mark airway segments in remote mountain
areas. Flashes in Morse code identify the beacon site.
2-2-3. Obstruction Lights
Obstructions are marked/lighted to warn airmen of their presence during
daytime and nighttime conditions. They may be marked/lighted in any of the
1. Aviation Red
Obstruction Lights. Flashing aviation red beacons (20 to 40
flashes per minute) and steady burning aviation red lights during
nighttime operation. Aviation orange and white paint is used for daytime
Intensity Flashing White Obstruction Lights. Medium intensity
flashing white obstruction lights may be used during daytime and twilight
with automatically selected reduced intensity for nighttime operation.
When this system is used on structures 500 feet (153m) AGL or less in
height, other methods of marking and lighting the structure may be
omitted. Aviation orange and white paint is always required for daytime
marking on structures exceeding 500 feet (153m) AGL. This system is not
normally installed on structures less than 200 feet (61m) AGL.
Intensity White Obstruction Lights. Flashing high intensity
white lights during daytime with reduced intensity for twilight and
nighttime operation. When this type system is used, the marking of
structures with red obstruction lights and aviation orange and white paint
may be omitted.
Lighting. A combination of flashing aviation red beacons and
steady burning aviation red lights for nighttime operation and flashing
high intensity white lights for daytime operation. Aviation orange and
white paint may be omitted.
Lighting. Lighted markers are available for increased night
conspicuity of high-voltage (69KV or higher) transmission line catenary
wires. Lighted markers provide conspicuity both day and night.
intensity omnidirectional flashing white lighting system provides
conspicuity both day and night on catenary support structures. The unique
sequential/simultaneous flashing light system alerts pilots of the
associated catenary wires.
intensity flashing white lights are being used to identify some supporting
structures of overhead transmission lines located across rivers, chasms,
gorges, etc. These lights flash in a middle, top, lower light sequence at
approximately 60 flashes per minute. The top light is normally installed
near the top of the supporting structure, while the lower light indicates
the approximate lower portion of the wire span. The lights are beamed
towards the companion structure and identify the area of the wire span.
d. High intensity flashing white lights are also
employed to identify tall structures, such as chimneys and towers, as
obstructions to air navigation. The lights provide a 360 degree coverage
about the structure at 40 flashes per minute and consist of from one to
seven levels of lights depending upon the height of the structure. Where
more than one level is used the vertical banks flash simultaneously