How do pilots see around the airport at night?

Is Airport Lighting the same around the world? How did Devil Dragon land?

 A motivated reader named “Bob” asked if the airport lighting was the same around the world, especially in Asia. Yes, Bob!

Many of the airports around the world have some type of lighting for aircraft night flying. The differences at these airports are the type of lighting, depending on the amount of aircraft they have, and how busy they are. The lighting is always the same world-wide so that pilots can recognize the universal light colors, sequences, and locations, to help them land, taxi and take-off safely.


Some examples of lighting at airports

Airport Beacon: Airport beacons aid a pilot identify an airfield at night. The airport beacon is usually operated from dusk until dawn. As an example, some of the most common beacons found at airfields are:

Flashing white and green for civilian land airports

  • Flashing white and yellow for a water airport
  • Flashing white, yellow, and green for a heliport
  • Two quick white flashes alternating with a green flash identifying a military airport


Approach Light Systems: The approach light systems are used for pilots to transition from instrument flight (looking inside the cockpit) to visual flight for landing (outside the cockpit).




Visual Glideslope Indicators: Visual glideslope indicators give the pilot glidepath information so that he or she can land safely. This aid can be used in the day or night.   By using these lights, the pilot will clear an obstacles near the end of the runway, and also land in a specific location on the end of the runway.




Next time you are flying, take a look outside at all the airport lighting. I bet you’ll see it differently.


Read “The Devil Dragon Pilot” today!