Pavement Edge Lighting May Enhance Situational Awareness

 - April 15, 2013, 1:00 PM
New taxiway light design aims to make pavement edge identification easier.

One drawback to traditional round taxiway lights is the difficulty pilots often face in determining the precise location of the edge of the taxiway surface using those lights. The technology behind blue taxiway lighting has changed little over the past 50 years, until a recent test of a new kind of lighting fixture began at Ohio’s Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE) in February. This involves the new Pavement Edge Light Safety System (Pelss) from Lumin Aerospace.

“Enhanced design provides more than just single blue lights at the edge of taxiways,” the company claims. “Instead, Pelss incorporates a pair of illuminated arms extending from both sides of the existing blue light that are aligned with the direction of the taxiway. This allows pilots to intuitively recognize the actual pavement edges at night and/or in inclement weather.”

According to Lumin, the new lights will improve pilot situational awareness even in good weather. Because the lights are in various testing formats at CLE, pilots transiting the airport when the lights would normally be used are encouraged to view them and provide the company with their feedback in a three-minute survey.