Good Question

Oct 10, 2012 11:28 PM by John Reger

GQ: What do the colored lights on airport runways mean?

If you ever check out the runways at airports, you're treated to a pretty good light show. Jane Peterson from Nipomo asked me on Facebook: Is there a particular reason why the lights along the airport runways are blue?

Good Question.

Actually, the blue lights line the left and right edges of the taxiways. These are the paths that run from the gates to the runways. At larger airports, green lights are imbedded down the center of the taxiway.

White lights line the edges of the runways where the planes take off and land. The runways often have recessed white lights down their center.

Green lights mark the beginning of the runway, and red lights mark the departure end.

Flashing strobe lights tell pilots where to approach the runways, and the pilots can ask air traffic controllers to increase the intensity when visibility is poor.

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