Approach Lighting

Approach Lighting Systems - Research & Development

The purpose of this research is to determine if a more effective, cost efficient Approach Lighting Systems (ALS) can be developed to meet the increasing need at airports.


This effort includes:

  • Modifying and/or reducing the number of lights in a standard ALS configuration.
  • Evaluating new technology for use as ALS components. Configurations differing significantly from those presently in service, but offering advantages in economy and/or effectiveness.
  • The data will be used in developing a performance specification for an ALS having reduced Acquisition, Installation, and Maintenance costs while maintaining the visual cues necessary for safe operations.

Plan objectives:

  • Determine those devices and/or concepts most likely to provide significant enhancements to approach lighting systems.
  • Test Feasibility light bars using these devices and/or concepts. Field test the proposed approach lighting system.
  • New technologies such as, fiber optics, metal halide lamps, light emitting diodes, are being considered.

The Visual Guidance Program has an on-going commitment to seek out new technologies which may be applicable to airport visual aids. We encourage companies who may have such technologies to contact us.


Reduced Approach Lighting Systems (ALS) Configuration Simulation Testing


Project Lead: Donald W. Gallagher, Airport R&D



Last Update:05/18/09