eATM Portal

AOP18 — Runway Status Lights (RWSL)

Runway Status Lights (RWSL) system is an automatic independent system based on aerodrome surveillance data that can be used on airports to increase safety by preventing runway incursions. The RWSL will provide an independent system that uses A-SMGCS surveillance data to dynamically switch on and off additional and dedicated airfield lights on RWY and on the runway entry TWY.
It will directly inform the flight crews / vehicle drivers about the instantaneous runway usage. Runway status lights switched “on” is an indication that the runway is unsafe for entering (for line-up or crossing) or for taking-off.

The new airfield lights, can be composed of:
• Runway Entrance Lights (REL): sets of red lights illuminating runway entrances when it is not safe to enter or cross the runway;
• Take-off Hold Lights (THL): sets of red lights illuminating along the axis of a runway in front of a departing aircraft when it is unsafe to take-off from that runway due to an obstacle (vehicle or aircraft) already occupying or entering the runway ahead;
• Runway Intersection Lights (RIL): sets of red lights illuminating along the axis of a runway near the intersection with another runway (crossing runways only) when it is not safe to go through the intersection. Note that no validation could be performed on the operational requirements related to crossing runways (RIL) within associated SESAR R&D project.

The system is meant to be compatible with airport operations and independent of ATC clearances, even if TWR will have access to the status of the REL and THL, with no change in their operating methods, except in case of flight crew request or failure of the system.

The purpose of the RWSL system is to act as a safety net for flight crew and vehicle drivers, thus reducing the number of runway incursions without interfering with normal runway operations.
It is recommended to implement RWSL at medium to highly utilized airports with complex runway and taxiway lay-out.

NOTE: In ICAO Annex 14, Volume I, RWSL is designated under the term “Autonomous Runway Incursion Warning System (ARIWS).

NOTE FOR MILITARY AUTHORITIES: It is the responsibility of each military authority to review this Objective IN ITS ENTIRETY and address each of the SLoAs that the military authority considers RELEVANT for itself. This has to be done on top and above of the review of "MIL" SLoAs which identify actions EXCLUSIVE to military authorities.

Regulator / Air Navigation Service Provider / Airport Operator / Airspace Users / International Organisations and Regional Bodies


Related Elements

Applicability Area(s) and Timescales

Applicability Area:
(Subject to local need)
Timescales From By Applicable to
Dummy date-for Analytics module only 31-05-2019 Applicability Area
Dummy date-for Analytics module only 01-01-2030 Applicability Area

Links to SESAR Solutions

Links to PCP ATM Sub-Functionalities

ICAO Block Modules: No associated data


Applicable legislation
ICAO Annex 14 (Aerodromes), Volume I
Applicable ICAO Annexes and other references
Deployment Programme 2019
Operating Environments

Expected Performance Benefits

Less severe and less frequent runway incursions due to an increase of runway usage awareness through accurate and timely indication of runway occupancy.
Operational efficiency
Cost efficiency
  Code Title From By Related Enablers
REG01 Promulgate the procedures for use of RWSL
ASP01 Install RWSL management tool
ASP02 Upgrade TWR CWP to interface with RWSL management tool
ASP03 Develop and implement procedures for the use of RWSL
ASP04 Develop safety assessment of the changes imposed by RWSL
ASP05 Train all relevant staff in the use of RWSL
APO01 Upgrade Airfield Ground Lighting system to provide the Runway Status Lights
APO02 Install RWSL management tool
APO03 Develop and implement procedures for the use of RWSL
APO04 Develop safety assessment of the changes imposed by RWSL
APO05 Train all relevant staff in the use of RWSL
USE01 Develop the procedures for use of RWSL
USE02 Train all relevant staff in the use of RWSL
INT01 Develop the standards for operational use of RWSL
INT02 Develop the standards for RWSL design and approval
INT03 Develop standard interfaces and information exchanges of RWSL Management Tool
Code Dates
1999 99
2000 00
2001 01
2002 02
2003 03
2004 04
2005 05
2006 06
2007 07
2008 08
2009 09
2010 10
2011 11
2012 12
2013 13
2014 14
2015 15
2016 16
2017 17
2018 18
2019 19
2020 20
2021 21
2022 22
2023 23
2024 24
2025 25

Supporting Material

Title Related SLoAs

EASA - EASA deliverable of SLoA INT02.


APO01, APO02, ASP01, ASP02

EUROCAE - EUROCAE deliverable of SLoA INT03


APO02, ASP01, ASP02

ICAO - Annex 11 - Air Traffic Services


ICAO - Annex 14 - Aerodromes, Volume I and II

APO01, APO02, APO03, APO04, APO05, ASP01, ASP02, ASP04, INT02, INT03, REG01

ICAO - Deliverable of SLoA INT01, ICAO PANS ATM Amendment on RWSL.


APO03, APO04, APO05, ASP03, ASP04, ASP05, USE01, USE02

SJU - RWSL - SESAR Solution 01: Data pack for Runway status lights

APO01, APO02, APO03, APO04, APO05, ASP01, ASP02, ASP03, ASP04, ASP05, INT01, INT02, INT03, REG01, USE01, USE02

Consultation & Approval

Working Arrangement in charge
Airport Operations Team (AOT)
Outline description approved in
Latest objective review at expert level
Commitment Decision Body
Provisional Council (PC)
Objective approved/endorsed in
Latest change to objective approved/endorsed in