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Smyrna Airport Reviews New FTS 812(L) REIL Lighting System

Location: Smyrna Airport (MQY), Smyrna TN
Operated By: Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority




Smyrna Airport was recently afforded the opportunity to work with Flash Technology and Avlite Systems on the installation of their newest airport lighting products, the FTS 812(L) LED Runway End Identifier Light system.


I will be giving a brief overview of the FTS 812(L) from my viewpoint covering some basic information, such as safety, maintenance, installation and functionality.




Smyrna Airport has utilized Flash Technology REIL lighting systems for over 25 years at the time of this review. Smyrna Airport’s prior REIL lighting solution comprised of the Flash Technology omnidirectional FTS 400 series and the unidirectional FTS 800 series. Both the series proved to be extremely reliable systems with few issues other than those of an environmental or parts life expectancy nature. That being said, today’s technology has allowed for advancements in performance, power consumption, safety and maintenance.


Smyrna Airport strives to stay up-to-date with the rapid technological changes in order to maintain the safest possible environment, not only for airport patrons and air traffic, but also for the maintenance personnel tasked with keeping various airport assets operational for the health and wellbeing of all.


I was excited to learn of the new FTS 812(L) while talking with Product Manager Bill Berry. Smyrna Airport was the first to install and utilize the system. After opertaing the new REIL lighting system for two months, I am happy to review the the new runway end lighting system.


FTS 812(L)


At first sight, I was taken back. The flashhead has a compact design with very clean lines. It reminded me of something from a sci-fi movie!


Then I looked at the system’s control unit. Unlike past REIL lighting systems which required a power supply/control unit on both REIL modules, the FTS 812(L) system utilizes a single control unit mounted with one flashhead and provides low voltage power and flash signal between the two units via a single multi-strand cable connected with quarter-turn connector… a very simple setup.


As alluded to earlier, a third point of note is the system’s low voltage requirements. Since its power, sync and flash requirements are low voltage, the FTS 812(L) system is much safer to diagnose and repair. Traditional, non-LED systems may require the system be energenized to run diagnostics, oftentimes upwards of 1,050 VDC. Improving working conditions for my team creates a huge plus in the safety category. It also translates into money saved without sacrificing airport safety.


The FTS 812(L) system components are solidstate nature, so there are fewer parts that could fail. It does not utilize the capacitor banks of the past, nor is there the high voltage rectifier board and several transformers have been eliminated. Those elements combined with one control unit to trigger both flash heads means that the required components to operate the system have been cut in half! Fewer parts to fail means fewer parts needed in stock, resulting in less money spent on upkeep and repair – a huge monetary benefit without impacting our number one concern, safety.


The entire installation process was completed in less than three hours, and was extremely simple. Removing the older FTS 800s, installing the new FTS 812(L) system and adjusting. The FTS 812(L) employ the same mounting locations as the previous system. Leveling and aiming adjustments were simple and quick with easy-to-read vertical and horizontal degree hash marks.




Smyrna Airport (MQY) has been utilizing the Flash Technology FTS 812(L) REIL lighting system on Runway 14 approach for several months now without issue or failure. The runway end light’s design and reliability seem to be perfectly on par with previous products engineered and produced by Flash Technology.


When considering all the pros of the new FTS 812(L) system from safety, reliability, simplicity, aesthetics and energy savings, I simply cannot express enough exactly how pleased I am with the new FTS 812(L) REIL system here at Smyrna Airport.


Smyrna Airport is one of the busiest GA airports in the state of Tennessee, comprising of corporate, cargo, military and private air traffic as well as three flight schools. The impact to safety and monetary loss resulting from an unscheduled runway closure due to equipment failure can be disastrous. Smyrna Airport must have low maintenance runway lighting equipment. Flash Technology products have always proven reliable in the past, and with the FTS 812(L) system, it looks as though Flash Technology has done it again…


I have been unable to find any issue with the FTS 812(L) in put into the “con” column.


Great job, as usual Flash Technology!


Russ Sims
Director of Maintenance
Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority
Smyrna Airport, (MQY), Smyrna TN