Airfield guidance signs

Airfield guidance signs provide information to pilots in taxiing aircraft regarding where they are, when to stop and hold for clearance, and in what direction to find taxiways or other locations.

[←A][B][C→] - Direction left A, Location B, Direction right C - Airfield Guidance Sign
[23 CAT Ⅱ/Ⅲ] ICAO Runway 23 Holding Position, Category Ⅱ/Ⅲ - Airfield Guidance Sign
[←APRON] ICAO Direction left APRON - Airfield Guidance Sign

The basics

Purpose

The airside part of an airport can cover a huge area that consists of aprons, taxiways and runways, often in a difficult to navigate web of pathways and intersections. Airfield guidance signs serve to inform pilots on where to turn and when to stop, in order to proceed safely to their end destination.

Types

Airfield guidance signs are generally grouped into information signs and mandatory instruction signs, and each of these have different types:

Information signs

These are basically wayfinding signs for airfields. They have black symbols on a yellow background, except for taxiway locations which are inverted and in some cases also have a yellow border.

  • Taxiway location
  • Direction
  • Runway exit
  • Taxiway ending
  • Runway vacated
  • Critical area

Mandatory instruction signs

These signs mark locations at which vehicles and aircraft are required to stop and wait for clearance. They have white symbols on a red background, and in some cases the symbols have black outlines to enhance readability.

  • No entry
  • Runway hold position
  • ILS hold position

Besides these ones there are special types that are less common or exclusive to a nation's own regulations.

Regulations

The main regulating body for airfield guidance signs is a specialized agency of the United Nations called ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organization. As of jan 2019 there are 192 ICAO members, where 36 of the most important and contributing nations are part of the council. The regulating document for signs is Annex 14, Aerodromes, Volume I – Aerodrome Design and Operations, Eighth Edition, July 2018.

In addition to ICAO there are multiple local government organizations and private companies that provide regulations. Some of these regulations are:

  • CS-ADR-DSN by the European Authority in aviation safety
  • AC 150/5345-44K by the Federal Aviation Authority
  • TP 312 by Transport Canada
  • CAP 168 by The UK Civil Aviation Authority
  • АВИАЦИОННЫЕ ПРАВИЛА, Часть 139 by russian MAK (Interstate Aviation committee)
  • Manual Normativo de Señalización en el Área de Movimiento, EXA 40 by spanish Aena.
  • CASR by australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority

More to come

This article is a stump and will be updated with more information soon.