Who Says Lighthouses Are Old Fashioned?

Who Says Lighthouses Are Old Fashioned?



Can you imagine a lighthouse being used as an aeronautical beacon? Well there is one. It is in the United States at Boston’s Logan Airport and it uses the Boston Lighthouse as a visual marker for Visual Flight Rule (VFR) landings. See the copy of the aeronautical chart below:

Boston Logan Airport aeronautical chart
Boston Logan Airport aeronautical chart (not for navigation)

According to the Air Facts Journal website:

Boston’s Logan Airport also has a charted visual approach, the Light Visual to runway 33L, which requires pilots to fly a radial until spotting the Boston Lighthouse, then turn left to intercept the final approach course. It’s mainly for noise abatement, and it’s only used with VFR minimums.

or as phrased by my friend Dave Starr, who brought this lighthouse fact to my attention:

If the weather is really bad, aircraft fly straight toward the runway following the narrow fan-shaped ILS course, and ignoring the “Noise Sensitive Area” markings, but in weather that is good enough for visual landings, aircraft are sent on a “dog leg” over the harbor to avoid the somebody’s who have expensive homes right under the normal approach path.

So far as I know, though, this is the only one which uses an active marine light (incidentally the oldest light built in the USA).  Once again, there is nothing new under the sun.

Does anyone know of any other lighthouse in the world used on VFR approach to an airport? Please let me know.



Published by

Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *