Signal Lamp - 2000s

Signal Lamp

The Signal Lamp, for making visual signals to aircraft, is still a feature of every Control Tower. These modern descendants of the old Aldis Lamp are generally only used in case of radio failures, although occasionally student pilots will practice 'no radio' circuit operations controlled by the Signal Lamp. The 240V lamps are normally kept on a retractable cable mounted on the ceiling of the Tower. However, the new generation of Towers being built by Airservices Australia (2010 onwards) has battery-powered lamps kept in a 'holster' on the modular workstations of these Towers.

This photo shows Air Traffic Controller Lara Baker using the Signal Lamp at Adelaide/Parafield on 20 May 2010. An inbound Cessna 210 had squawked 'radio failure' (7600) and was being processed into the Parafield circuit for a landing.


signal lamp

< This slightly different design of signal lamp was used in the old Melbourne Tower and photographed on 21 January 2007. The sticker on the side is the logo of Civil Air, the air traffic controllers' professional association.

On this type of lamp, the foregrip could be rotated to bring different coloured lenses (red, green or none) into the light beam.

Note also the aperture and post sight on top of the lamp.


(Photos: Phil Vabre)

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