timz
Posts: 6121
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

Beacons: Required For Which Airports?

Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:45 am

What are the rules on beacons, in the US and elsewhere? In the US they invariably alternate white/yellow and green (usually a pale green); is that the same everywhere? Which airports have to have them? It can be anywhere on the field?

As you see http://www.airliners.net/open.file/442352/M/ SFO's beacon used to be on top of the old tower, right below the new one. But when I flew in last week I didn't see it flashing, and I didn't see it anywhere else. Is it there?
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Beacons: Required For Which Airports?

Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:10 am

Timz,

I just happen to have my pocket size copy (somewhat dated, but the regs really haven't changed IIRC) of the FAA's Federal Aviation Regulations regarding Part 139, which pertains to the certification and operation of airports.

Basically, Part 139.311, section B states: "each certificate holder" (the airport operator)..."shall provide and maintain, when the airport is open during hours of darkness or during conditions below VFR minimums, at least the following lighting systems for air carrier operations on the airport:" There are 5 items listed under section B, of which #3 is "an airport beacon".

The prescribed colors of which would be detailed in an FAA Advisory Circular. I'll see if my slow dialup connection can find the exact AC, and see if the Part 139 wording has changed.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Beacons: Required For Which Airports?

Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:38 am

The revised Part 139 section on beacons hasn't changed much. It's a bit more wordy, but the requirement is still the same as that shown above. If you're interested in the entire Part 139 (not terribly long), it's at:
http://www.faa.gov/arp/certification/part139/part139_wcorrections.pdf

This is the FAA Advisory Circular on the specifications for airport beacons:
http://www.faa.gov/arp/pdf/5345-12C.pdf

Hope all this helps.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
PNEPilot
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 8:19 am

RE: Beacons: Required For Which Airports?

Thu Nov 11, 2004 1:25 pm

In the US, white & yellow alternating signifies a water airport, white & green alternating is a land airport, white green and yellow is a heliport.

Military airports flash white, white greeen.

They should flash 24 to 30 times a minute for airports, 30 to 45 times a minute for heliports.

Beacons should be on whenever the airport is open at night, and also during the day if the visibilty is less than three miles or the ceiling less than 1000ft.