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Airport Lighting Aids

proceed according to their best judgment while

understanding the illuminated lights indicate that

continuing the takeoff is unsafe. Contact ATC at the

earliest possible opportunity.


Runway Intersection Lights (RIL): The RIL

system is composed of flush mounted, in−pavement,

unidirectional light fixtures in a double longitudinal

row aligned either side of the runway centerline

lighting in the same manner as THLs. Their

appearance to a pilot is similar to that of THLs.

Fixtures are focused toward the arrival end of the

runway, and they extend for 3,000 feet in front of an

aircraft that is approaching an intersecting runway.

They end at the Land and Hold Short Operation

(LASHO) light bar or the hold short line for the

intersecting runway.


RIL Operating Characteristics − Departing


RILs will illuminate for an aircraft departing or in

position to depart when there is high speed traffic

operating on the intersecting runway (see

FIG 2−1−9). Note that there must be an aircraft or

vehicle in a position to observe the RILs for them to

illuminate. Once the conflicting traffic passes

through the intersection, the RILs extinguish.


RIL Operating Characteristics − Arriving


RILs will illuminate for an aircraft that has landed and

is rolling out when there is high speed traffic on the

intersecting runway that is 

$5 seconds of meeting at

the intersection. Once the conflicting traffic passes

through the intersection, the RILs extinguish.


What a pilot would observe: A pilot departing

or arriving will observe RILs illuminate in reaction to

the high speed traffic operation on the intersecting

runway. The lights will extinguish when that traffic

has passed through the runway intersection.


Whenever a pilot observes the red light of the

RIL array, the pilot will stop before the LAHSO stop

bar or the hold line for the intersecting runway. If a

departing aircraft is already at high speed in the

takeoff roll when the RILs illuminate, it may be

impractical to stop for safety reasons. The crew

should safely operate according to their best

judgment while understanding the illuminated lights

indicate that continuing the takeoff is unsafe. Contact

ATC at the earliest possible opportunity.


The Final Approach Runway Occupancy Signal

(FAROS) is communicated by flashing of the

Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) (see FIG

2-1-9). When activated, the light fixtures of the PAPI

flash or pulse to indicate to the pilot on an approach

that the runway is occupied and that it may be unsafe

to land.


FAROS is an independent automatic alerting system that
does not rely on ATC control or input.


FAROS Operating Characteristics:

If an aircraft or surface vehicle occupies a FAROS

equipped runway, the PAPI(s) on that runway will

flash. The glide path indication will not be affected,

and the allotment of red and white PAPI lights

observed by the pilot on approach will not change.

The FAROS system will flash the PAPI when traffic

enters the runway and there is an aircraft on approach

and within 1.5 nautical miles of the landing threshold.


What a pilot would observe: A pilot on

approach to the runway will observe the PAPI flash if

there is traffic on the runway and will notice the PAPI

ceases to flash when the traffic moves outside the

hold short lines for the runway.


When a pilot observes a flashing PAPI at 500

feet above ground level (AGL), the contact height,

the pilot must look for and acquire the traffic on the

runway. At 300 feet AGL, the pilot must contact ATC

for resolution if the FAROS indication is in conflict

with the clearance. If the PAPI continues to flash, the

pilot must execute an immediate “go around” and

contact ATC at the earliest possible opportunity.


Pilot Actions:


When operating at airports with RWSL, pilots

will operate with the transponder “On” when

departing the gate or parking area until it is shutdown

upon arrival at the gate or parking area. This ensures

interaction with the FAA surveillance systems such

as ASDE-X which provide information to the RWSL



Pilots must always inform the ATCT when

they have either stopped, are verifying a landing

clearance, or are executing a go-around due to RWSL

or FAROS indication that are in conflict with ATC

instructions. Pilots must request clarification of the

taxi, takeoff, or landing clearance.


Never cross over illuminated red lights.

Under normal circumstances, RWSL will confirm the

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