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Helipad Lights and Heliport Lighting Requirements

Flash Technology designs and manufactures hardwired and solar helipad lights and beacons for commercial, private, government, military, hospitals and other applications. Lights comply with helipad light photometrics under FAA and ICAO as well as the civilian aviation codes of many additional countries.

 

Regulations governing helipad lights and heliport lighting systems change from time to time. Explore current regulations below or reach out to our helipad lighting experts to ensure your solution complies with standards for your location.

 

Need help determining what aviation light is appropriate for your site?

Under FAA AC 150/5390-2C Heliport Design, all helicopter operations fall under general aviation (GA) except scheduled passenger service. GA helipads serve individuals, corporations and helicopter air taxi services. While most are privately owned, some may also be publicly owned.

 

The general aviation helipad lighting system diagrams below assume only one helicopter will ever be within the FATO. If more than one helicopter will be in use, a separate FATO with its own TLOF is required.

Helicopter landing pad lights required by the FAA include final approach and take off (FATO) lights, touchdown and lift-off area (TLOF) lights and landing direction lights.

 

Additional helipad lights may be required or recommended based on a site’s aeronautical study:

 

  • Flight path alignment lights mark the direction of approach and/or departure flight paths.
  • Helicopter approach path indicator (HAPI) lights may be used to provide glideslope guidance to pilots.
  • A helicopter windsock indicates wind direction and speed. If the helipad will serve nighttime flights, the wind cone must be lit.
  • A heliport beacon may help pilots visually identify the helipad.
  • Helipad taxiway centerline (bidirectional green) and taxiway edge lights (omnidirectional blue) may improve taxiway taxi route visibility.
  • Red obstruction lights to mark any obstacles near the helipad or its approach and departure path.
  • A helicopter approach lighting system (HALS) bearing a distinct design ensures the heliport is not mistaken for an airport approach lighting system and runway.

 

FAA helipad markingsThe FAA treats hospital heliports differently, to ensure the design accommodates air ambulance operations, medical personnel and their equipment. The standard “H” mark differs for hospital heliports. For hospitals, the H is red on a white cross. For continuity and safety, general aviation standards may be applied to hospital helipads.

 

For specifics on heliport lighting colors and specifications, please see the lighting equipment classification tab.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) outlines standards and recommendations for heliports serving single-main-rotor helicopters in Annex 14, Volume 2. These ICAO helipad standards apply to all heliports, including areas for the exclusive use of helicopters at an aerodrome primarily meant for the use of aeroplanes.

Helicopter landing pad lights required by ICAO include final approach and take off (FATO) lights, touchdown and lift-off area (TLOF) lights and approach lights.

 

Additional helipad lights may be required or recommended based on a site’s aeronautical study:

  • Flight path alignment lights mark the direction of approach and/or departure flight paths.
  • Helicopter approach path indicator (HAPI) lights may be used to provide glideslope guidance to pilots.
  • A helicopter windsock indicates wind direction and speed. If the helipad will serve nighttime flights, the wind direction indicator must be lit.
  • A heliport beacon may help pilots visually identify the helipad.
  • Helipad taxiway centerline (bidirectional green) and taxiway edge lights (omnidirectional blue) may improve taxiway taxi route visibility.
  • Aiming point lights are required if the pilot must approach a certain point on the FATO before proceeding to the TLOF.
  • Red obstruction lights to mark any obstacles near the helipad or its approach and departure path.
  • A helicopter approach lighting system (HALS) bearing a distinct design ensures the heliport is not mistaken for an airport approach lighting system and runway.

 

ICAO helipad markingsAs with FAA, the standard “H” mark under ICAO differs for hospital heliports. For hospitals, the H is red on a white cross.

 

 

For specifics on heliport lighting colors and specifications, please see the lighting equipment classification tab.

HAPI

Floodlights
If ambient light does not adequately illuminate markings for night operations, use floodlights to illuminate the TLOF, FATO and/or parking area. If possible, mount on adjacent buildings to eliminate potential obstructions. Place floodlights clear of the TLOF, FATO, safety area, approach/departure surfaces and transitional surfaces. Aim floodlights downward, and make sure they can be turned off by pilot control or at pilot request.

Heliport Beacon (ICAO)

Use a heliport beacon if either of these conditions exist:
– Long-range visual guidance is considered necessary and is not provided by other visual means
– Identification of the heliport is difficult due to surrounding lights.

Locate the omnidirectional white beacon on or adjacent to the heliport preferably at an elevated position and so that it does not dazzle a pilot at short range. If it does, switch it off during the final stages of approach and landing.

Obstruction Lights
Mark structures surrounding the airspace with paint and/or obstruction lights in accordance with aviation authority guidelines.
FAA obstruction lighting
ICAO obstacle lighting

TLOF and FATO Lights

Radio Control Systems

Wind Cone