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This airport practice note is intended as an information document for airport members, providing useful information regarding disability
access at Australian aerodromes. The airport practice note is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be prescriptive or
be an exhaustive set of information on matters that should be taken into account regarding disability access at airports. Before making any
commitment of a financial nature or otherwise, airports should consider their own specific needs and circumstances and seek advice from
appropriately qualified advisers. No material contained within this guideline should be construed or relied upon as providing recommendations
in relation to any particular development or planning outcome or decision.

The Australian Airports Association and the authors of this airport practice note do not give any warranty or representation as to the accuracy,
reliability or completeness of information which is contained herein. Except insofar as any liability under statute cannot be excluded, the
Australian Airports Association Ltd and the authors of the airport practice note and their employees do not accept any liability for any error or
omission in this publication or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the user or any other person. The Australian Airports Association
and the authors of this airport practice note, and their employees, do not guarantee that the publication is wholly appropriate for your
particular purposes and, to the extent allowed by law, disclaim all liability for any loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying
on any information from these publications.


We wish to thank the following for their support in
providing core material, specifications, editing support
and assisting with general document preparation:
Bob Potter, Electrical and Visual Design;
Steve Henstock, Valupa P/L;
Meryl Ellsmore, MJE Secretarial Services; and
Perth Airport for apron floodlighting case study.

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Figure 10.8: PAPI: A Pilot's eye view

Figure 10.9: PAPI on glide path

10.4 Characteristics
The standard approach angle is three degrees and the
signals of the PAPI are arranged so that the on slope
signal at three degrees will show two white and two
red lights.

» The two high signal is set at 3° 30 minutes

» The slightly high signal is set at 3° 10 minutes

» The slightly low signal is set at 2° 50 minutes

» The two low signal is saying below 2° 30 minutes

Too High

Pap Targets

Slightly High

On Glide Path

Slightly Low

Too LowOn Glide Path

Figure 10.7: PAPI light beam projections

3° 30 min

3° 10 min

2° 50 min

2° 30 min


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Figure 10.10: PAPI location for sloping ground10.5 Installation
The location of the PAPI is determined with reference to
several important considerations.

The PAPI must be located so that the guidance it gives
will bring the pilot's eye over the threshold at a safe
height with consideration for the vertical distance
between the pilot’s eye and the main landing gear
wheels. This height is chosen with reference to the
general size of the aircraft as laid out in the table below
taken from MOS Part 139 9.9.4.

Consideration is also given for the presence of an ILS
system on the runway concerned. Where an ILS is
present the guidance from the PAPI must not conflict
with the guidance from the ILS.

The actual location will also be affected by any slope
on the runway. A runway with an uphill slope from
the threshold will have the PAPI located at a closer
threshold than a level runway. Conversely a runway that
runs down from the threshold will result in the PAPI
being located further from threshold.

The PAPI light units are generally located at the same
height as the centre of the runway. However, if this is
not possible, adjustment must also be made to locate
the light units so that they appear to the pilot in the
same location as if light units were positioned at the
runway height.

Figure 10.11: PAPI displacement from runway threshold

Eye-to-wheel height of aeroplane in the
approach configuration a

Standard wheel
clearance (metres)b

Special minimum wheel
clearance (metres)c, d

(1) (2) (3)

Up to but not including 3 m 6 3

3 m up to but not including 5 m 9 4

5 m up to but not including 8 m 9 5

8 m up to but not including 14 m 9 6
a In selecting the eye-to-wheel height group, only aeroplanes meant to use the system on a regular basis shall be considered. The most demanding amongst such

aeroplanes shall determine the eye-to-wheel height group.
b Where practicable, the standard wheel clearance shown in column (2) shall be provided.
c The wheel clearance may be reduced to not less than those in column (3) with specific agreement of CASA, where an aeronautical study indicates that such

reduced wheel clearances are acceptable.
d Where the special minimum wheel clearance is provided at a displaced threshold it shall be ensured that the corresponding standard wheel clearance specified in

column (2) will be available when an aeroplane at the top end of the eye-to-wheel height group chosen overflies the extremity of the runway.

Approach slope

Up slope runway with PAPI location moved closer to
the threshold to maintain the same

Down slope runway with PAPI location moved away
from threshold to maintain

Location changes as height of light unit changes




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Australian Airports Association
Unit 2/4 Brindabella Circuit I Canberra Airport

P: 02 6230 1110 F: 02 6230 1367
E: [email protected]

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