Pilot-controlled lighting (PCL)

Add support for Pilot- controlled lighting (PCL). Which is used on many uncontrolled fields.


I did a night flight over the Canadian Rockies from CYYC (Calgary) to CYGE (Golden).

Not thinking about it, I failed to check if the destination airport had runway lighting (SkyVector says no: skyvector → /airport/CYGE/Golden-Airport)

This brings up a few important questions.

  1. Some airports in real life have transceiver that allows activation of runway lights (PCL/PAL/ARCAL) - does MSFS have this capability yet? (see wikipedia Pilot-controlled_lighting)

  2. Other airports require communication with control to activate lights - is this possible in MSFS?

  3. If an airport is not equipped with runway lighting, or the lighting is inoperable, will control advise me? Is my only way to determine this to check something like SkyVector? Can I not just ask control?

If its consistent with real life, it would be nice to have a message warning me “Cessna QRF7A, Golden Tower, be advised runway edge lights on 33L are inoperable/not available, advise XXX”

If I’ve made any invalid assumptions, please don’t hesitate to point out my ignorance.

UPDATE: For the software engineers in the crowd, I recognize the possible complexity in implementation here; so this is more so just so I can plan my flights. Shared state of the game world make even simple features hard, i.e. persisting runway lighting state across many nodes, TTL, yadda yadda.


I’d love to see pilot controlled lighting added to the data fields of an airport. This would bring it up as an option to tune your radio to in the ATC menu, in a similar way you can select Traffic freq, AWOS/ATIS, etc. Subsequently selecting it would activate the aerodrome lights on for a set time, such as 20min.


This would be great, as so many smaller US airports use this. :slight_smile:

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That would be great. The field I learned to fly at had PCL. :slight_smile:

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In P3D, there was a CFG editing that added and changed how soon the night lighting turned on. It could turn this on 30 minutes, say, before sunset, and turn it off 30 minutes after sunrise.

The answer is “no” at the 3 questions. If an airport is equipped with lighting, they will be turned on at night. You have no way to turn them on, and control won’t tell you anything about that.

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I was thinking it would be cool to be able to click your mic button and turn on the flashing lights like in real life.

I believe this was a feature also in FSX. They should definitely add it.

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I do believe you’re right…

Really? I can’t believe I never stumbled across this feature in FSX. Was it part of the base game or did it require an addon?

I would also love it that anyone with a push-to-talk button would be able to control it the same way they would in real life.
It should also be a menu option for people who don’t have that setup.


Just be careful not to blind the pilot on short final by cranking up the lights from five miles out… :slight_smile:

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I believe the Flight Unlimited series (2 and 3 at least) had PCL, but I don’t recall ever coming across it in FSX.

Would be a nice feature for sure and, in theory, not so technically challenging to implement one day.

Would also be good in case of the helicopters as many landing platforms at hospitals or in the city use such a system as far as i know.

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This would be a nice feature indeed and add more realism to the sim. Good idea!


Hi . One question . There will be some way to turn on the runway lights from the plane. at airports that are not controlled at night? thanks

How would you differentiate between airstrips that have it in real life, and those that don’t? It sounds like it would be an option under Asisitance if it doesn’t exist in real life.

It is easy, charts/documentations/aviation publications will list it.


I would vote for this, but further down the line.