Airport lighting deficient lamps - Civil Aviation Safety Alerts (CASA) No. 2018-06

Airport Operators Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Inspectors - Aeroromes

File Classification No. : Z 5000-35
RDIMS No. : 13825654
Document No. : CASA 2018-06
Issue No. : 01
Effective Date: 2018-07-20


This Safety Alert arises from report of the Department of National Defense (DND) regarding deficient lamps obtained from a local supplier, for PAPI light units.

This CASA reminds Operators to ensure that correct lamps, enabling performance to TP312, are used in the maintenance of airport lighting systems and recommends a course of action for procurement of replacement lamps.


Quartz-Halogen lamps, used for various airport lighting facilities have limited life and are periodically replaced due to failure. As illustrated below, these lamps, obtained from various suppliers, may appear to have similar physical dimension. A slight dimensional difference, however, can have an adverse impact upon light output, particularly for PAPI where positioning of the filament is critical to performance.

Also, although rated for the same current and voltage, the actual intensity of lamps from suppliers can differ significantly. For a particular procurement, DND found that the measured intensity resulting from installation of a lamp from one supplier was 50% of that from another supplier.

The airport operator is responsible to ensure that airport lighting is in conformance with TP312. This is often ensured by means of 3rd party attestation provided by the manufacturer. The attestation pertains to the light unit having a particular lamp. If another lamp having different characteristics is used for maintenance, the light unit itself may no longer conform to standards.



PAPI lamps from various suppliers

Recommended Action:

  1. it is recommended that airport operators procure replacement lamps from the original supplier by part number as indicated in the instruction manual for the light unit.
  2. If the airport operator wishes to procure from alternative suppliers, a procedure should be in place to verify that the obtained lamp will not adversely affect the output of the light unit.

Contact Office

For more information concerning this issue, contact a Transport Canada Centre or contact:

Eduard Alf
Senior Engineer, Aviation Lighting Systems

Flight Standards – AARTA
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N5
Phone: 613-990-2100

Original signed by

Robert Sincennes
Standards Branch

The Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) is used to convey important safety information and contains recommended action items. The CASA strives to assist the aviation industry's efforts to provide a service with the highest possible degree of safety. The information contained herein is often critical and must be conveyed to the appropriate office in a timely manner. The CASA may be changed or amended should new information become available.