This NOTAM currently exists at Riverside airport:

!RVS 01/014 RVS AD AP ABN ON CONS 2001141700-2001291700

The rotating beacon is on continuously per this NOTAM. It has nothing to do with the weather.

Why would an airport do this other than in IFR conditions during the daytime?


2 Answers 2


The general convention is that the rotating beacon is only on at night or during IMC. The airport or ATC can choose differently. It would not be the norm and probably should be pointed out to pilots approaching the airport. It would also help identify the airport if there is confusion with multiple nearby airports of similar size and structure.

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    $\begingroup$ Would you include some supporting evidence please? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Ryan, if you are looking for a specific regulation that says "if the beacon is left on during day VFR it shall be NOTAMed" I don't think you will find anything. NOTAMs are by definition for noting things that are out of the ordinary and of interest to pilots. It wouldn't be possible to capture and regulate every possible type of situation worthy of being communicated via this medium. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ P.S. There are really two questions here, why NOTAM, and why leave the beacon on. For the latter we can only speculate here, your best bet to get a specific answer would be to contact the airport. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 17:14
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    $\begingroup$ I did not specify that it must be a regulation. It could be anything. Maybe it has to do with breaking in the bulb or stress testing the motor. Not knowing why is the reason to ask. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @RyanMortensen AIM 2-1-10 d. In Class B, Class C, Class D and Class E surface areas, operation of the airport beacon during the hours of daylight often indicates that the ground visibility is less than 3 miles and/or the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet. $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 17:29

It turns out, in this particular case, the reason the rotating beacon was left on during the day time and was NOTAMed as such is because it was broken and could not be turned off by the tower.

What has been gathered is that there is no standard reason why an airport would intentionally leave its rotating beacon on during the day in VMC conditions.


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