I've been griping this week about street lights off on I-20 between Hearne and Monkhouse Drive. But I also noticed the lights in the median at the airport (the special landing lights) have all been out for about a week.
Airport Director Wade Davis did a thorough check and tells me those lights are not required to be on at all times.

Here is what he sent me:

The approach lights in the median that you indicate were “off” are not supposed to be continually “on” in their daily operations.
Per the FAA, Paragraph 3–4–5 of JO 7110.65Y states, in part:
“Operate approach lights:

a. Between sunset and sunrise when one of the following conditions exists:

1. They serve the landing runway.

2. They serve a runway to which an approach is being made but aircraft will land on another runway.

c. As requested by the pilot.

d. As you deem necessary, if not contrary to pilot’s request.

Original Story:

I guess you can say I get obsessive about some things. One of the items I keep track of is street lights.
Each morning I travel on I-20 to Pines Road to the radio station. Over the past week I have noticed more street lights out on the interstate. And last week I noticed the lights in the median of I-20 near the airport were all out. These are special warning lights for approaching airline traffic.

In the past, if I noticed a couple of these lights folks at the airport would let me know the runway was closed. So that's what I have been thinking over the past week. But on Tuesday morning at 4:40am as I'm driving to work, a plane came in on that runway and all of the lights in the median on I-20 were off.

So that concerned me and I sent an email out to all of the parties involved.

Public Works Director Gary Norman responded quickly to let me know his crews will check out the issues with the I-20 lights out. And I also got a quick response from Wade Davis who is the Director of Airports. Here is that email:

Good morning Ms. McCarty,

First, I love your show and listen most every morning for updates on key regional items of interest. It is always very informative and fun to listen to on my way to work!

In response to your inquiry regarding the airport lighting the FAA control tower was contacted and verified that the airport was utilizing runway 14 this morning and that the approach lighting was both on and operational at the time indicated. The airport was in CAT II conditions due to fog which may have obscured the view of the lighting from the roadway but it was on and was subsequently verified by both the air traffic manager and the airport operations supervisor at the time of your inquiry.

I do appreciate you notifying the airport of the lighting concern, however, all indications are that the airport lighting was both on and operational this morning. Your street lighting concern will need to be addressed by Mr. Norman separately.

If ever you have an interest in a behind-the-scenes tour of the airport operations, please let me know and my team and I would be pleased to show you all the neat things we do on a daily basis to keep the travelling public safe.

Again, thank you for your inquiry as it is greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work!

Best Regards,

Wade A. Davis, C.M.
Director of Airports

You be the judge of it. Look closely at the lights in the middle of the freeway. Do you think the lights are on or off?

Davis sent me this follow-up email:

Thank you for the video as it helped to clarify your exact concern (the airport lights in the median). Let me look into it further and we’ll provide you with an update from the appropriate folks responsible for the operation of those lights.


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