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Lighting the Way for Pilots  

Over the past several years, Van Nuys Airport (VNY) has installed upgraded airfield lighting that both assists pilots and saves energy!  Featuring upgraded approach, runway and taxiway lights, almost the entire airfield lighting system is now pilot-controlled and turns off automatically after 15 minutes without activation.   

Initial upgrades were made during the Runway 16R rehabilitation project that was completed in August 2013 and included high-speed exit light modifications. Located at the approach end of the main runway, this Medium Approach Lighting System (MALSR) has in-pavement white lights that can be controlled via the pilot-controlled lighting (PCL) system when the air traffic control tower is closed.  

Runway 16L, which is a visual runway, has also received a new Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) light system. This provides visual guidance to pilots and is not pilot-controlled. The light system has four bars that are visible to pilots on approach.  Four red bars indicate that a pilot is flying too low, while four white bars indicate that a pilot is flying too high. Two white bars and two red bars indicate that a pilot is on the correct approach path.   

VNY has also installed a new rotating beacon, an important navigational aid to pilots, and initiated a project to replace existing blue taxiway edge lights with LED lights. Additional taxiway centerline lights and signs will also be upgraded during the future taxiway A and B rehabilitation project.