Local Information

WSDOT responds to public feedback, modifies rotating beacon at Methow Valley State Airport

Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 11:15

Nisha Marvel, WSDOT Aviation communications, 206-440-4790

WINTHROP – The rotating beacon at the Methow Valley State Airport in Winthrop will be modified following public feedback about its operation. The modifications include a less intense beacon light that can be operated via pilot control.

The airport beacon was originally designed to operate continually from dusk to dawn at a higher intensity. After receiving community feedback that the beacon light was intrusive to residents because of Methow’s unique geographical features, the Washington State Department of Transportation temporarily turned off the beacon and conducted a visual analysis to explore options to lessen the impacts to neighbors, while still preserving safe aircraft operations.

The airport’s newly-modified beacon will be operational on April 25.

Methow’s new rotating airport beacon will operate concurrently with the airport’s runway lighting system, and pilots can activate both using the airport’s Unicom frequency of 122.8 MHz. Once activated the runway lights will remain on for 15 minutes, which is recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration. The beacon light will turn off after five minutes; however, pilots can reactivate it for additional five minute intervals if necessary.

Rotating beacons are intended to help pilots identify where an airport is located by emitting flashes, much like a lighthouse.

Methow Valley State Airport is one of 16 state-managed airports in Washington. More information on Methow is available at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation/AllStateAirports/MethowBeacon.htm.

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