A common issue for aviation involves night flights into airports with no light or low light conditions. This study investigated the effectiveness of runway visual capture by pilots using an enhanced visual system that provided an integrated display of infra-red light and light intensification to the pilot or a low-cost lighting system on the ground during landings to an airport in Palatka, Florida. Six pilots each flew a series of five approaches into the airport in conditions utilizing these technologies as well as instances of full runway lighting or no runway lighting. Results indicated that both systems produced visual capture of the runway at a higher altitude and greater distance from the runway than the no lighting condition but were not as effective as full runway lighting. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of these new technologies for landings into airports with poor illumination or no illumination, making them available for night landings.
Doherty, S. M.
(2007). A Comparison of Technological Systems to Enhance Night Flight Landings. 2007 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 170-173.