The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has updated its guidelines for the proper way to light and mark obstructions affecting navigable airspace. The changes generally pertain to the appropriate height of buildings, wind turbines and meteorological towers.

Revisions deal with the appropriate height of buildings, wind turbines and meteorological towers. Image credit: FAA.Revisions deal with the appropriate height of buildings, wind turbines and meteorological towers. Image credit: FAA.FAA says the principal revisions are as follows:

  • The height of a structure identified as an obstruction has been lowered from 500 feet above ground level to 499 feet. All structures above 499 feet are considered obstructions and the FAA will continue to conduct an aeronautical study on these types of structures to determine their effect on the navigable airspace to ensure they do not create a hazard.
  • New lighting recommendations are specified for wind turbines of various heights.
  • Standards for voluntary marking of meteorological evaluation towers lower than 200 feet have been implemented in an effort to make such towers more noticeable and to add an extra layer of protection for low-level agricultural flight operations.
  • New lighting and marking standards have been provided to reduce the confusion and disruption to migratory bird patterns that have been attributed to certain obstruction marking schemes.
  • A chapter was added to provide performance standards on aircraft detection lighting systems. The new standards are intended to enable lighting systems that operate based on aircraft proximity, increasing safety while reducing other impacts of the lighting schemes.
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