Aircraft Navigation LightsWhat are Aircraft Navigation Lights?

Navigation lights are placed on an aircraft to mark their status, position or path. Also called running lights or position lights and are governed by strict international regulations. Navigation lights are not wholly true to their name, they are used to indicate a plane’s relative position to another. To the pilot these lights convey the message whether another plane is approaching, or its flight path.

Determination of Aircraft Navigation Lights’ market

The market industry for Aircraft Navigation Lights is driven by various factors like the producing company’s strategy, product innovation, advancements in technology and the market condition at that time. With advancements in LED technology airlines are switching to LED lights fromincandescent bulbs. The main reason for the switch to LED is itslonger life and less energy consumption which leads to lesser burning of fuel which finallyresults in higher savings.

How to follow the lights’ rules: Right-of-way and strobe lights

On the left or port side of plane a red light is placed and on the right or starboard side a green light. When two plans cross each other’s path midway of a flight, the plane on the right side is given the way. That is to say, that the plane on the left sees the red light on the other and has to yield the way. The plane on the left continues only after the right has passed before continuing on its way.

Strobe lights are the second counter measure to collision placed on a plane. Placed on the tail, they flash a high-power spurt of white light which makes other pilots aware of its position even in low visibility conditions as in bad weather.

Determining a craft’s position by the alignment of lights

Let’s assume there are two planes A & B and the pilot of plane A (assume Pa) sees B from a distance, how he/she will determine Plane B’s flight path:

  • If Pa sees both a Red and Green Light, the pilot will know that B is coming towards A because both the lights placed at the wing tips are visible.
  • If Pa sees only a White Light, the pilot will know that B is flying away from A because only the light placed at the tail is visible.
  • If Pa seesboth a Red and White Light, the pilot will know that B is moving from is moving from right to left as Pa can see the Port side of the airplane.
  • If Pa sees both a Green and White Light, the pilot will know that B is moving from is moving from left to right as Pa can see the Starboard side of the airplane.

*For their own and others’ safety, nobody is allowed to operate an aircraft without turning its Navigation Lights on.

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