Runway Status Lights at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW)

LAX THLs
Takeoff Hold Lights at DFW
Operation Concept
Diagram of RWSL at DFW

The FAA selected DFW to be the first airport to test the prototype Runway Status Lights (RWSL) system designed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory, ARCON Corp., and the FAA to help reduce and prevent runway incursions and accidents. RWSL at DFW is a fully automatic, advisory safety system which operates independent of air traffic control using airport surveillance data from the ASDE-X system and advanced safety logic.

In 2005, Runway Entrance Lights (RELs) were installed at select taxiways on Runway 18L/36R on the West Airfield. Based on successful test results, Takeoff Hold Lights (THLs) were added to full-length and intersection departure locations on the same runway (18L/36R). In 2008, the FAA and DFW began additional RWSL testing of RELs and THLs at select locations on Runways 17R/35L and 17C/35C on the East Airfield. The FAA has extended operational evaluation of the prototype RWSL at DFW airport until it is replaced by a production system.

The (right hand) graphic is a runway diagram of DFW with locations of in-pavement RELs and THLs with marked with red bars on runways 18L/36R, 17R/35L, and 17C/35C.

 

Runway
RELs Locations
THLs Locations
18L/36R
West Side: at Taxiways Y, Z, WJ, WK, G8, WL, WM, B, and A Runway 18L: from 875’ beyond the runway threshold for a length of 1000’ and from 875’ beyond the northern edge of the Y taxiway intersection for a length of 1000’

East Side: at Taxiways Y, Z, B, and A

Runway 36R: from 875’ beyond the runway threshold for a length of 1000’ and from 875’ beyond the southern edge of the A taxiway intersection for a length of 1000’

17R/35L
West Side: at Taxiways Y, Z, EJ, EK, EL, EM, B, and A Runway 17R: from 375’ beyond the runway threshold for a length of 1500’ and from 375’ beyond the northern edge of the Y taxiway intersection for a length of 1500’
East Side: at Taxiways Y, Z, EJ, EK, K8, EL, EM, B, A, and ER Runway 35L: from 375’ beyond the runway threshold for a length of 1500’ and from 375’ beyond the southern edge of the A taxiway intersection for a length of 1500’
17C/35C
West Side: at Taxiways Y, Z, EJ, EL, B, and A Runway 17C: from 375’ beyond the northern edge of the Y taxiway intersection for a length of 1500’
East Side: at Taxiways Y, Z, EJ, EL, B, A, and ER Runway 35C: from 375’ beyond the southern edge of the A taxiway intersection for a length of 1500’

Operational status of RWSL at DFW will be broadcast on the ATIS.

DFW Animation

Flash Animation - 629KB
Conops Demonstration Flash Animation - 629KB

Click on PLAY on the lower left side of the picture to start the video.

  1. The landing aircraft on runway 36R turns all RELs on when it crosses about a three-quarter-mile final.
  2. RELs progressively turn off about 3 seconds before the lander passes the intersection to allow for anticipated separation clearances by ATC.
  3. An aircraft is cleared to cross runway 36R at taxiway A, and the REL is off so it does not interfere with normal, safe operations.
  4. A departure is cleared for takeoff on runway 36R, and REL is off so it does not interfere with normal, safe operations.
  5. All RELs downfield turn red simultaneously once the departure accelerates to about 20 knots.
  6. The aircraft at taxiway WM crossed the hold line and continues while RELs are red in front of it. The aircraft crosses over four red RELs but stops short of the fifth and final red REL on the taxiway centerline and does not cross over the runway edge. At the same time, the departure has reached taxiway A.
  7. The departure continues takeoff roll down the runway.
  8. The stopped aircraft at taxiway WM then crosses runway 36R with ATC clearance after the RELs have turned off.
  9. Another aircraft taxis to the hold line at taxiway A and stops short of it, awaiting ATC clearance.

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