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Old Posted Sep 11, 2013, 7:14 PM
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What Constitutes A Red Beacon On Some Buildings And Towers?

I can understand a beacon on a tall building or tower that stands out, but I've seen beacons on structures that aren't all tall. I'll give an example. In my local town the water tower has a beacon but the church steeples that are taller doesn't. Like in NYC, you see a lot of shorter skyscrapers that have beacons. Do they really need beacons when buildings like the ESB or the new WTC and other tall buildings have them?

Thanks in advance for your answer.
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Old Posted Sep 11, 2013, 7:38 PM
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^More than likely it depends on WHEN it was built or renovated or last permitted.

If it's in an air traffic hazard zone and needs a permit, a beacon likely gets required. If it's been there for 80 years and hasn't changed, it maybe doesn't have one.

Private property rights sort of guarantee that local jurisdictions can't force a standard on something that is existing until such time as it needs a permit to be altered.

Hope that helps?
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Old Posted Sep 11, 2013, 8:03 PM
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Yes, that does helps. I just never knew and always wondered about it. With that being said, I remember seeing a documentary on the construction of Disney World and they said if Cinderella'a Castle was 2 feet higher, it would have required a beacon.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 1:30 AM
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There is a hydroelectric pylon a mile from my house that has a beacon halfway up, but no beacon on the top.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 3:00 AM
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To get technical, the red lights you see ontop of skyscrapers and other tall structures are officially termed "obstruction lights" by the FAA. Their application, and the height of the structures they are required upon, is all dependent on the flight path and/or glide slope to airports. For example, next to New York LaGuardia Airport, there is a two-story apartment building with red obstruction lights ontop. This building also happens to be near the threshold of Runway 4, very close to the touchdown zone on the pavement of the runway.

Flashing red, solid red, flashing strobe light white, they are all dictated by the FAA, resulting from an equation taking into consideration: height of the structure, and said structure's location within a designated flight path or glide slope approach.

Hope this helps!
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 3:10 AM
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Fun Fact: The Chrysler Building in NYC is the tallest building/structure in North America *without* any mandated FAA obstruction lights ontop. And it's a supertall over 1,000'. Crazy!
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Old Posted Sep 17, 2013, 5:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
Fun Fact: The Chrysler Building in NYC is the tallest building/structure in North America *without* any mandated FAA obstruction lights ontop. And it's a supertall over 1,000'. Crazy!
LOL. I was gonna bring that up.
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