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Question - How to handle lights when toweris closed



Richard,
Keep in mind that a rotating beacon is a navigation aid. It is used supplementally to indicate when weather conditions are below IMC at towered controlled airports or where you have certified weather observation. You will not have a tower in operation and you probably are not a certified weather observer. There is no obligation to turn it on/off for IMC conditions. It is a pilot's responsibility to determine if weather conditions are IMC or not. You have AWOS on the field, correct? I would not mess with the liability for turning it on/off for IMC.

The simple solution to your problem is to let the beacon run all day/night. Obviously you seek to reduce cost, so as others have suggested, put it on a photovoltaic cell or set for a specific time to comply with the 30 minutes dusk-to-dawn requirement. PCL is permissible as well. You could tie the beacon into your existing PCLs. Technically, you can also turn it off and issue a NOTAM, but there are safety reasons to keep it on. Be sure to issue a NOTAM for any changes you make as the norm is to have the beacon lighted. 

What I would strongly suggest you do though is to modify (if all ready in place) or construct a new letter of agreement with the ATCT manager for lighting. You should already have one in place based on existing data from the 5010. But the existing LOA generally does not include the beacon. You now want ACCESS TO THE ATCT and clarify who has control of the lights, so you can get to the equipment for operation or maintenance, or for emergency purposes (fire, etc). 

Best regards,
Steve
-- 

Stephen M. Quilty, A.A.E.    SMQ Airport Services 26757 Haverhill Drive Lutz, FL  33559-8509

813-388-9132    SMQAirportServices@xxxxxxxxx

The mission of SMQ Airport Services is to support the airport management profession with training and education, safety audits, SMS and group facilitation, organizational development and assessment, and special research study.


On Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 12:57 PM, <Richard.Stein@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Everyone -

I need to come back to the fountain of knowledge in order to see how others are handling this.  My question:  How are other airports who will have their contract towers closed due to sequestration handle the various issues that will come up.  So far, I've noted the following issues:

Rotating Beacon

        At night - night operation of the rotating beacon seems simple.  Have someone turn it on at night and off in the morning.  Shouldn't be a problem.

        During IFR - We only have maintenance electricians on duty during office hours.  How are other airports that only have employees on duty during limited hours planning on handling turning the beacon on and off during IFR.

Runway Lights

        At night - again, straightforward.  On when dark, off when light.

        During IFR - We don't have 24 x 7 maintenance coverage, so we need to figure out how to staff and when to know when operate the lights.

        Changing intensities - We have PCL that we use at night.  My thoughts are to leave the runway lights on PCL full time and allow the pilots to operate them as needed.

I'm looking for what other airports are planning on doing, or input from anyone how to handle these new issues.  Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Richard M. Stein, A.A.E.
Deputy Airport Director, Operations and Maintenance
Lynchburg Regional Airport
350 Terminal Drive, Suite 100
Lynchburg, VA  24502
(434) 455-6088
(434) 239-9027 (fax)
richard.stein@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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