Runway Status Lights

Takeoff Hold Lights at LAX
Operation Concept
RWSL Operational Concept



Runway Status Lights (RWSL) is a fully automatic, advisory safety system designed to reduce the number and severity of runway incursions and thus prevent runway accidents while not interfering with airport operations. RWSL is designed to be compatible with existing procedures and is comprised of Runway Entrance Lights (RELs), Takeoff Hold Lights (THLs), and NEW Runway Intersection Lights (RILs).

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Runway Incursion Reduction Program has developed RWSL as part of an ongoing effort to explore new technologies. The RWSL system aims to improve crew and vehicle operator situational awareness through accurate and timely indication of runway usage.

Between 2005 and 2009, RELs and THLs were installed at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX); and RELs were installed at San Diego International Airport (SAN). The FAA began testing RWSL, including new RILs, at Logan International Airport (BOS) in June 2010. With continued support from MIT Lincoln Laboratory and ARCON Corporation, the FAA has extended operational evaluations of the prototype RWSL at these test airports until planned replacement with a production system. The FAA will deploy RWSL to 23 major airports in the U.S. National Airspace System.

Go to:

FAA Video of RWSL
FAA RWSL Fact Sheet
FAA RWSL Website