ATC light signals

In the event that aircraft radios have failed or the that the pilot is silly enough to fly with a non radio equipped aircraft, the ATC unit can communicate with the pilot by light signals.

light signal from ATC (probably tower)
to aircraft in flight to aircraft on ground

give way to other aircraft and continue to circle


do not land - wait for permission


do not land - airfield is not available for landing
move clear of landing area


return to aerodrome: wait for permission to land
to an aircraft
you may move on manoeuvring area and apron
to a vehicle
you may move on the manoeuvring area

you may land
you may take off


you may land after receiving continuous green light, then after receiving green flashes proceed to apron
return to your starting point on the airfield

in the highly unlikely event that your aircraft is suitably equipped you can communicate with the ground by using light signals

light signal from aircraft to airfield

red pyrotechnic or red flare

immediate assistance is required (which is probably because you have just set your aircraft alight!)


steady green flashes or pyrotechnic

by night
may I land?
by day
may I land in a direction different from that indicated by the landing T


white flashes, switching on and off landing lights or irregular flashing of navigation lights


I am compelled to land