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Airport beacon testing to address community concerns

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Date:  Thursday, October 25, 2012

Contact: Paul Wolf, state airports manager, 360-651-6313

WINTHROP – Crews will test the rotating navigational beacon at the Methow Valley State Airport 6:30-8 p.m. nightly Nov. 5-7 with additional testing possible on Nov. 8.

During each evening of testing, crews will activate the beacon at 8- to 12-degree angles and test shielding options. The testing is part of a visual analysis that the Washington State Department of Transportation is conducting to address community concerns about the beacon light emissions.

Following the testing, WSDOT will solicit feedback from the Methow community and prepare a final report with a summary of findings by early January 2013. WSDOT will then partner with the Federal Aviation Administration to implement the preferred strategy.

WSDOT turned the beacon off July 18 in response to concerns. The beacon originally was set to the manufacturer’s recommended 5-degree angle.

Rotating airport beacons serve as navigation aids for pilots flying at night. They are normally required at lighted airports, such as Methow.

The airport installed the beacon as part of its recently completed airport layout plan that laid the groundwork for several safety projects, including lighting improvements, obstruction surveying, obstruction removal, perimeter fencing and runway safety area grading.

More information is available at

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