View Full Version : PAPI/VASI at non-towered airports
09-23-2005, 01:45 PM
While doing a touch-n-go at KEVY (Summit in Middletown, Delaware), it wasn't untill halfway through my approach that I noticed the PAPI (or VASI, whichever one is the red and white lights). If this is true, then the airport MIGHT have a ILS approach. How is there a precision approach system at a non-towered airport, when the ILS system is monitered from the tower? (found that out when I visited Martin's tower).
09-23-2005, 02:05 PM
I know several non-towered airports with VASI or PAPI lights (both are red/white... VASI has stacked lights (red on white) and PAPI has side-by-side lights (white left of red). They do not need an ILS or even any type of instrument approach system to have a VASI or PAPI system.
EDIT: KEVY has several instrument approaches (VOR, NDB, GPS), but does not have an ILS system.
EDIT EDIT: Search on airnav.com and it will tell you the type of visual glideslope indicator (if available) and provide charts for any instrument approaches available.
09-23-2005, 02:18 PM
Not sure if I'm understanding your question correctly, but many non-towered aiports have precision approach sytems. For example, I just flew an ILS a few weeks ago into Concord, NH which is a non-towered airport.
Both PAPI's and VASI's have red and white lights.....the PAPI is the one where the lights are all side by side, the VASI is the one with two rows of lights. Most airports will have at least a VASI on one runway, towered or not.
The big thing in determining whether an appoach is precision or non-precision is the vertical guidance, ie glideslope, not the ATC facilities. An approach that only has a localizer is a non-precision approach whereas a precision approach will have a full glideslope.
If you want to know what approach sytems different airports have and you don't have the approach plates, you can check www.airnav.com
Edit: Looks like Peter beat me to it!
09-23-2005, 02:57 PM
ILS systems are not exclusive to towered airports. I can think of three airports in my state that have ILS (KCDC, KPVU, and KSGU), yet are still untowered. My home airport is also getting an ILS, even through we don't have a tower. Plus, numerous airports also have control towers that are only open part-time. Yet when the tower closes for the night, the ILS system is still up.
09-23-2005, 05:40 PM
Ok, thanks for clarifying that! I had a difficult time telling the difference between PAPI and VASI, so thanks for that. JC, Martin is the same way, twr is closed after 11 with Potomac acting as twr for Martin untill 0600.
09-24-2005, 07:28 PM
The ILS may be monitored by the FBO or the local FSS. This is why you watch for the flags on the CDI. You never trust that the ILS is working properly even if there is a tower.
09-25-2005, 10:19 AM
>The ILS may be monitored by the FBO or the local FSS. This
>is why you watch for the flags on the CDI. You never trust
>that the ILS is working properly even if there is a tower.
All true. And, if you are prudent, you keep listening to the ILS ID and are prepared to do a LOC by punching your clock at the FAF.
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