Dauntless Aviation
 
FAA Written Test Prep
Checkride Oral Exam Prep
Pilot eLogbook System
Aircraft Systems Reviews
EASA Theory Exam Prep
China ATPL Theory Prep
UK PPL/IMC Theory Prep
Transport Canada Theory Exam Prep
Aircraft Recognition Tutor
SimPlates IFR Plates
FAR/AIM Reference
All Software and Apps
Aviation Freebies
Free Aircraft Checklists
 
Products by Platform
 
Purchase
Support
Contact
Employment
SBD Dauntless
 
Affiliates and Resellers
 
Europe/Worldwide FAA CFI Services
 
淘宝商城
 
Home

Aviation Glossary :: Aircraft Radio Control of Aerodrome Lighting  Aviation Glossary :: Aircraft Radio Control of Aerodrome Lighting FAA Written Test Preparation
Aviation Glossary Welcome to the Dauntless Aviation Glossary!

At Dauntless, our editorial staff maintains the web's largest unified glossary of aviation terms. This glossary is built from a combination of official, quasi-official, and proprietary sources (including original material that we develop oursselves). Uniquely, we often provide multiple definitions of a given term so that you can find that which best applies to you. In order to maximize your learning efficiency, this glossary (and similar ones for our international users) is incresingly fully integrated into our aviation learning apps, including our FAA written test prep and FAA practical test prep software and apps. If you like this glossary, you'll love them with their polished learning environments and world's best and clearest content (please do give them a try.).

Aircraft Radio Control of Aerodrome Lighting
Aircraft Radio Control of Aerodrome Lighting
Pilot-controlled lighting (PCL), also known as aircraft radio control of aerodrome lighting (ARCAL) or pilot-activated lighting (PAL), is a system which allows aircraft pilots to control the lighting of an airport or airfield's approach lights, edge lights, and taxiways via radio. At some airfields, the aerodrome beacon may also be ARCAL controlled. ARCAL is most common at non-towered or little-used airfields where it is neither economical to light the runways all night, nor to provide staff to turn the runway lighting on and off. It enables pilots to control the lighting only when required, saving electricity and reducing light pollution.

The ARCAL frequency for most aerodromes is usually the same as the UNICOM/CTAF frequency, although in some rare cases, a second ARCAL frequency may be designated to control the lighting for a second runway separately (an example of this is runway 01/19 at the airport in Sydney, Nova Scotia). To activate the lights, the pilot clicks the radio transmit switch on the ARCAL frequency a certain number of times within a specified number of seconds. There are two type of ARCAL systems, type J and type K.

Type J systems are activated by keying the microphone five times within 5 seconds, while type K is initially activated by clicking seven times within 5 seconds. Once activated, the intensity of type K systems may then be turned to low, medium, or high intensity settings by keying the microphone three, five, or seven times within 5 seconds, respectively. If runway identification lights are also controlled by type K ARCAL, they may be turned off by keying the microphone three times.

When either type of system is activated, a 15-minute countdown starts, after which the lights turn off. While the lights are on, whenever a lighting command is issued, whether it changes the lighting intensity or not, the fifteen-minute countdown is reset. At some airfields, the lights may flash once to warn pilots that the lights are about to go off, before turning off two minutes later.

When using ARCAL, it is strongly recommended that aircraft on final approach to the airfield issue a fresh lighting command, even if the lights are already on (especially if the lights were activated by another aircraft). This is so that the lighting does not turn off at a critical moment (such as when crossing the runway threshold). When in operation, the receiver awaits a squelch break on the tuned VHF frequency and begins counting "clicks" in a 5-second period to determine pilot intent. The pilot commanded output is held by the controller for a predetermined time interval (FAA standard is 15 minutes) that is generally adjustable. It is important to understand that the 5-second click count period begins upon receipt of the first squelch break and the control sequence will respond to the click counts from 3, 5, 7 and stop. As an example, cycling the microphone button rapidly 12 times in 5 seconds will command 3, 5, 7. Similarly, slowly clicking 7 times may result in the 5-second timing period expiring prior to getting to the 7th input click.

In the United States, pilot controlled lighting is governed by FCC Rule 87.187y. This section also lists the frequencies that are allowed to control runway lights via pilot controlled lighting.

Report an issue with this definition

source: Wikitionary / Wikipedia and Related Sources (Edited)


Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

Disclaimer: While this glossary in most cases is likely to be highly accurate and useful, sometimes, for any number of editorial, transcription, technical, and other reasons, it might not be. Additionally, as somtimes you may have found yourself brought to this page through an automated term matching system, you may find definitions here that do not match the cotext or application in which you saw the original term. Please use your good judgement when using this resource.


© 2019 Dauntless Aviation • 4950C York Road 110, Buckingham, PA, 18912, USA • Contact UsPrivacy Policy