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IES publishes “outdoor lighting for airports” standard (RP-37-15)

April 8, 2016 | By Renée Francoeur

April 8, 2016 – The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) has announced the publication of Outdoor Lighting for Airport Environments (RP-37-15), a publication in the IES Recommended Practice series.

RP-37-15 is a guide for the application of fixed outdoor lighting in and around the airport environment. These requirements include (but are not limited to) height restrictions (such as obstructions affecting navigable airspace) as defined by the governing civil aviation authorities, the ability to distinguish colour of light for visual cues, and light trespass that may interfere with visibility of Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) controllers or pilots.

The purpose of RP-37-15 is to provide:

• adequately lighted airside areas where parked aircraft are safely serviced; aircraft crew and passengers safely board and deplane, and where cargo operations are conducted
• adequately lighted landside areas such as access roads and parking areas for safety and security of pedestrians and vehicles
• guidance for lighting in the adjacent development vicinities of the airport (including areas outside the airport property line), while also taking into account the special needs of the airport environment, such as height restrictions and potential light interference with air traffic controller and/or pilot vision.


“Safety is of utmost importance in aviation travel, which is why anyone involved in outdoor lighting of an airport should be knowledgeable about the recommendations in RP-37-15. It is vital that they fully understand the impact of airside and land side lighting to eliminate or minimize the production of glare that would affect control tower operators or pilots,” said Richard Larivée, sub-chair of the Aviation Recommended Practices Subcommittee of the IES Aviation Lighting Committee.

RP-37-15 is available in print or as a PDF download from the IES at www.ies.org/store. The list price is $65 and $45 for IES members.

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