Cranes signaling with lights

Light beacons for cranes

¿What kind of light beacons should be used in cranes to minimize the risk of a plane crash?

In previous texts we have already addressed the type of beacons required depending on the height of the objects that may pose a risk to aviation, according to the guidelines set out in International Civil Aviation Organization (Annex 14).

Special mention is required of cranes and in particular “tower cranes”, since, due to their peculiar profile they need to be specifically marked.
In areas affected by aeronautical easement tower cranes must always be signaled if there are not others adjacent obstacles already marked. For this, light beacons of medium or low intensity will be used.
The cranes lighting will depend on their disposition with respect to other illuminated obstacles in the environment.

Following the ICAO regulations, if the crane is not higher than 45m, the lights may be of low intensity. If the height is greater than 45m they should be of medium intensity. If the crane is over 105m high, it should be signposted in its tower and, at a maximum of 52.5m away from the nearest lights, with a second level of medium intensity or low intensity Type B beacons.

Fixed cranes (“tower cranes”)

Since the illumination of obstacles must highlight the profile of the signposted object, in the case of tower cranes the highest point of the tower, the cusp of the central tower should be signaled as well as it is usual to request the illumination of the 2 extreme points: Jib and counter jib.

In this way, not only the height of the object is signaled, but also its maximum wingspan, which would be extremely important in order to avoid a collision with the obstacle.

Crawler cranes/ auto cranes:

Sometimes the element of greater height is the cran, used for the construction of the heaviest elements. It will be necessary to request authorization and establish the methods of signaling and lighting necessary for the tasks to be performed.

Since the operation of the cranes is usually diurnal, if necessary they can be marked with medium intensity systems type A (white light, 2000Cd, flashes). The height where the beacons should be fixed is what the machinery allows. The upper end of the head and / or intermediate section of extendable crane will be illuminated when they exceed 100m in height (the light levels must have a maximum vertical distance between them of 52.5m)

Any object that rises above 100m in an area outside of easements is considered an “aeronautical obstacle”, so it is subject to authorization and may need to be illuminated and signaled.
When working at night, the crane should be illuminated provided that the lighting in the work area itself is not sufficient to highlight the obstacle.

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