Follow the Greens

Apr. 16, 2019

Airfield ground lighting offers a unique opportunity to guide aircraft and vehicles around the airport. By linking the lighting infrastructure with the taxi route management system, the airport can provide an unambiguous route for the flight crew and vehicle driver to follow.

This SESAR solution #47 "Guidance assistance through airfield ground lighting" requires advanced technology within the lights themselves, and in the ramp control tower. The airfield lighting control system needs to turn on the lights ahead of an aircraft, and off immediately behind. To achieve this, taxiway centre line lights are automatically and progressively switched on in segments (or individually) as the aircraft (or the vehicle) moves along its assigned route. Pilots and vehicle drivers receive a single instruction to ‘follow-the-greens’ from air traffic control (ATC). If stop bars are implemented to protect no-go areas, they are also automatically  commanded. The solution also relies on the surface movement guidance and control system to provide accurate aircraft position data.

This SESAR solution #47 is now implemented in Riga and planned for Zurich, Schiphol and Lisbon airports.