ICAO Annex 14 recommends that "Runway centre line lights shall be provided on a runway intended to be used for take-off with an operating minimum of an RVR of the order of 400 m or higher when used by aeroplanes with a very high take-off speed, particularly where the width between the runway edge lights is greater than 50 m." (section

I wish to know whether aircraft are categorized by take-off speed (like they are by approach speed), or which aircraft fall in the category of having very high take-off speed.


Never heard of any sort of takeoff speed "category" applied to operators in US rules, but we do have rules (in an airline's OpSpecs) for our aircraft that tell us at what min visibility centerline lights are required for takeoff (and landing as well).

If an airport were considering investing in Centerline Lights, that recommendation, combined with a little research into the requirements of the airlines who'd potentially operate into & out of that runway, would provide a basis to determine what incremental gain in utilization the runway could have. (Along with some meterology hisoric data -- numbers of hours/days at or below a given RVR value.)

The term very high take-off speed does seem a little nebulous; airliners' takeoff speeds are pretty high compared with most General Aviation aircraft, and unless you're building a runway for fighter or experimental jets, there aren't that many aircraft with higher takeoff speeds than we have that it would seem worthwhile to install CL just for them.

But, who knows... Maybe another ICAO document does define that term somewhere.

  • $\begingroup$ Modern fighters have relatively low wing loading to be able to pull tight turns and this also gives them reasonable take-off and landing speeds. Only the 3rd generation jet fighters like F-104 had really high take-off and landing speeds. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jun 15 '15 at 6:18
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Mr. Ralph and Mr. Jan, if there is no such categories are defined, why did ICAO uses the term as a condition to provided RCL lights? As Mr. Ralph said may be some other doc may have reference about it. $\endgroup$ – Gireesan M Jun 16 '15 at 4:50
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps it is simply descriptive, rather than intended as a strict ("V1 at max T.O. Weight > 161 KIAS") definition. Fast takeoffs/landings, you need them; slower speeds, not as much. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Jun 16 '15 at 12:44

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