Guidebook for Approach Light System Hazard Assessment and Mitigation

At many airports throughout the nation, approach lighting support instrument landing systems are placed on structures because of terrain or proximity to water. The intent of this effort is to reduce risk of loss (life safety and aircraft) and improve emergency access through mitigation of collision hazards associated with high voltage approach lighting system structures (e.g., piers, stanchions, fences, etc.). Runway end structures that are fixed by function are designed and constructed with conflicting means and purpose within and beyond runway safety areas. First, lighting structures are designed for longevity and sustainability and are made with very robust materials and construction. On the other hand, regulations require structures to be frangible in an attempt to minimize collision hazards. Finally, structures represent a high-risk hazard within the runway end environment due to high- voltage systems, posing a significant fire ignition source. In the event of a collision, several factors adversely impact survivability and emergency response and operations. Many runway end accidents have resulted in high energy forces damaging exterior and interior aircraft cabins, as well as post impact fire. Over the years, the consequences have resulted in multiple fatalities, mass casualties, and substantial property loss. The objective of this research is to (a) reduce collision hazards in runway end environments; (b) maintain structural integrity of the aircraft; (c) reduce and/or eliminate fire ignition sources due to electrical system hazards; and (d) improve emergency access.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $300000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 4-03

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Greenberger, Marci

  • Performing Organizations:

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

    Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering
    Blacksburg, VA  United States  24061
  • Principal Investigators:

    Gibbons, Ronald

  • Start Date: 20071005
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20090202
  • Source Data: RiP Project 12156

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01462884
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Airport Cooperative Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 4-03
  • Files: RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:12PM