FAA’s website provides some symbology explanation (specifically, I’m looking at VFR Charts) and also a database of obstacles, the Digital Obstacle File (DOF). Their PDF provides an explanation of the lighted codes; options of R, D, H, M, S, F, C, W, L, N, U.

I assume that VFR Charts are created with the same data as the DOF. What are the lighting codes in the DOF that correspond to the “High Intensity Obstruction Lights” on VFR Charts?


1 Answer 1


The DOF_README.PDF includes the following field description:

Type of Lighting

"R": Red
"D": Medium intensity White Strobe & Red
"H": High Intensity White Strobe & Red
"M”: Medium Intensity White Strobe
"S" : High Intensity White Strobe
"F" : Flood
"C" : Dual Medium Catenary
"W": Synchronized Red Lighting
"L" : Lighted (Type Unknown)
"N": None
"U": Unknown

Since the charting would only use the "High Intensity" label if it was known, it would map to types H and S.

It's also useful to note that the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide adds the following note:

High-intensity lights may operate parttime or by proximity activation.

  • $\begingroup$ i think your second line lost a linebreak, did you mean H and S would be the types ? if so, my limited amount of cross-referencing the charts and DOF would agree. $\endgroup$
    – user320781
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ @user320781 You are correct about the linebreak and the types. Answer has been edited. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 0:12

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