FAA Sheds Light On Part 23 Non-Required Lights

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The FAA has issued a policy statement addressing concerns that it has in the past approved taxi, landing and recognition lights for Part 23 aircraft without reference to the effects of those lights on required lights or electromagnetic interference issues. To clarify approved use of lights, the FAA asserts that taxi lights may reduce the area covered by required position or anti-collision lights because they are designed for "the taxi phase of flight" (presumably, that "phase of flight" that takes place on the ground). Landing lights for use in approach and landing phases of flight may also reduce the area covered by required lighting. Part 23 does not, however, require forward-facing recognition lights, and the statement says those lights are acceptable if they supplement but do not reduce the required field of coverage of position lights or anti-collision lights, do not cause a hazard and do not cause EMI. "Logo lights" used to illuminate parts of the aircraft fall under those same rules. This policy statement clarifies FAR 23.1383 through 23.1395 and 23.1401 for installing required and non-required lights on part 23 aircraft. It applies to normal, utility, acrobatic and commuter category airplanes. It also applies to non-rigid airships (ADC sections 6.24 through 6.30 and 6.32) certified in the normal category (FAR 21.17(b)) with nine passenger seats or less. The policy statement contains precise details on how the FAA in this case intends to define "hazard," EMI and logo lights.