Anyone visiting an airport, especially at night, can’t help but notice the lights lining the runways, taxiways, and perimeters of the site. The lights are critical to maintain safety as aircraft move in, out, and around the airfield.
Airport lighting devices are safety-critical, just as are the components on the aircraft that are guided by those lights. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established the Airport Lighting Equipment Certification Program (ALECP) in 1995, establishing a qualification process for third-party laboratories to certify all types of lighting devices and support equipment.
Airports seeking Federal grant assistance must show that lighting equipment has been certified under the ALECP. FAA certification is required in the US but is also recognized in other countries as evidence of independent evaluation and compliance with high standards of quality and performance.
Elite is accepted by the FAA as an ALECP Third-Party Certification Body for all types of airport lighting equipment (L-types). Elite’s testing capabilities, certification expertise and exceptional customer service have made us the first choice for airport lighting manufacturers.
Airport lighting devices need to show compliance with criteria specified in the FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5345 series, covering areas including optical and electrical requirements, structural integrity, and maintainability. In addition, production quality is assessed annually by the third-party certification body.
Certification is a continuous process that assesses manufacturers and qualifies products through testing. The goal for Elite’s manufacturing customers is ongoing compliance with the ALECP requirements. Elite’s certification program is ISO 17065 accredited and audited regularly by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and the FAA.
Brad DeGrave and Kevin Halpin lead Elite’s FAA certification program. Both are active participants in the aviation industry’s work with the FAA as lighting technology and standards evolve. They recently attended the Illuminating Engineering Society Airport Lighting Committee (IESALC) Government Contacts Subcommittee Meeting to hear the latest research, and present an update on Elite’s FAA certification program. Here are the key highlights from the FAA and industry:
- Engineering Brief (EB) 105 was recently released to specify design and lighting requirements for “vertiports” used by vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft with electric propulsion.
- New draft of AC 150/5345-46F was released for industry comment, including new heliport and vertiport lighting types.
- Updated FAA research on solar-powered lights and runway closure markers.
- Requirements for new LED lamps to replace incandescent lamps in runway approach lighting systems (MALSRs).
- New Federal funding availability from recent legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Buy American Acts.
Elite’s FAA Testing Experts Brad DeGrave and Kevin Halpin
Brad and Kevin are among the experts Elite’s customers rely on for information on FAA requirements and test techniques. Contact Elite to find out much more about how Elite can guide your airport-lighting device through the FAA certification process.
For more information on airport lighting equipment and certification, plan a visit to the IESALC Fall Technology Meeting in Scottsdale, AZ.