Preventive maintenance of inpavement lights - Civil Aviation Safety Alerts (CASA) No. 2014-05


Airport operators Transport Canada Civil Aviation safety inspectors - aeroromes

Issuing Office: Standards Branch
Document No. : CASA 2014-05
File Classification No. : Z 5000-35
Issue No. : 01
RDIMS No. : 9811303
Effective Date: 2014-09-19


This Safety Alert arises from a recent incident in which a departing air carrier aircraft dislodged an inpavement runway light fixture, causing significant damage to the aircraft. This CASA reminds Operators to properly maintain lighting systems installed at the airport through routine inspections and by applying a detailed preventive maintenance program as stipulated in TP312 Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices.


In recent incidents, physical damage to aircraft resulted from the optical assembly of an inpavement runway light fixture being dislodged. Lapses in maintenance programs for these in-pavement fixtures may have played a role. These incidents highlight the importance of preventive maintenance programs, associated checks, and inspection procedures. Such surveillance is particularly important with inpavement lighting systems because they are subjected to physical stress caused by moving aircraft and require additional maintenance, especially in touchdown zones and on busier runways.

Recommended action:

The current version of Advisory Circular (AC) 302-008, Maintenance of Runway and Taxiway Lighting Systems, provides specific guidelines for maintenance of airport visual aid systems. This AC discusses maintenance procedures for in-pavement lighting systems and provides guidelines and a schedule of periodic checks. It is important that maintenance personnel review the schedule of periodic checks, including the need to periodically check bolts used to install in-pavement lights and torque them to the required standard. The following are other specific recommendations for maintenance of inpavement lights:

  1. Torque the bolts used with inpavement lights to the manufacturer's recommendations. Always use a calibrated torque wrench. Never use an impact driver because this could cause over-torque of the bolts. Installed bolts require periodic checks to ensure they remain at the required torque.
  2. Always use a two-part locking washer assembly with in-pavement light fixtures.
  3. Always use new bolts and washer assemblies. Never reuse bolts.
  4. Never leave a fixture with a bolt missing. Missing bolts place additional stress on the fixture as well as the remaining bolts.
  5. When maintenance other than simple cleaning is required, removal of the light fixture and replacement with a refurbished unit is necessary. Although AC 302-008 offers a recommended schedule for periodic checks, they should be tailored to the facility based on local conditions such as environmental issues and runway traffic load.
  6. In addition to conducting the required maintenance, airport operators must also ensure these maintenance activities are properly documented. If you are responsible for a Part 3 certificated airport and have any questions about documentation requirements, contact your assigned Airport Certification Safety Inspector.

Contact office:

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

Eduard Alf
Aviation Lighting Systems, Senior Engineer
Flight Standards – AARTA
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N5
Phone:  613-990-2100

Original signed by

Aaron McCrorie
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.