CORTEX SAFE-r Runway Status Light (RWSL) System provides immediate and reliable light activation to keep runways safer


Runway incursions are known to be a major risk to airport safety and the problem remains not only a significant safety issue at every aerodrome but also one of the major limiting factors of the airport’s capacity.

CORTEX SAFE-r is the new generation of the ADB SAFEGATE RWSL solution, able to combine the RWSL logic with the RWSL Field Lighting System (FLS).

CORTEX SAFE-r is an entirely independent system that offers immediate and reliable light activation when used with our latest LINC 360 technology. This integrated approach reduces light activation time and allows ADB SAFEGATE to be in full control of the system performance, making it the only solution in the market provided by one single party.

To learn more, watch our animated RWSL video below.

RWSL REL and THL lights


How does the CORTEX SAFE-r RWSL solution work? 

CORTEX SAFE-r is a fully automated safety system based on red lights embedded in the pavement of runways and runway-taxiway intersections. These lights automatically warn pilots and vehicle operators if it is unsafe to cross, enter or begin a take-off on a runway. The lights provide direct, instant alerts to the taxiing crew, require no input from controllers and do not interfere with airport operations.

The system comprises two main types of lights: Runway Entrance Lights (RELs) at the taxiway and runway crossings that illuminate when it is unsafe to enter or cross a runway; and Take-off Hold Lights (THLs) at the runway by the departure hold zone. These light up when an aircraft is poised for departure and the runway is occupied by another aircraft or vehicle and unsafe for take-off.

Runway Entrance Lights

The CORTEX SAFE-r solution includes the new RWSL Processor, which receives surveillance data from the airport surveillance and operates directly with the RELs and THLs. The RELs and THLs comprise AXON LED lights with integrated LINC 360 communication modules for ILCMS (Individual Light Control and Monitoring System) that are then embedded in the pavement of runways and taxiways. The switching of REL and THL lights is fully automated and driven by the system without any intervention from air traffic controllers.

Takeoff Hold Lights

CORTEX SAFE-r consists of the following components:

  • Dual CORTEX SAFE-r RWSL Processing
  • Maintenance Position
  • ATC Control Panel
  • AGL Substation equipment
  • AXON EQ inset lights (RELs, THLs)
  • Physical Kill Switch (optional)

Mode of operation:

  • The system can be used in any visibility condition and independently from the operational category of the runway
  • Red RWSL (ON) means stop
  • OFF RWSL does not mean clearance to proceed
  • In the event of doubts, the system can be switched OFF using a kill switch provided to the Air Traffic Controller
  • Although an ATC control panel is provided, there is no need for ATC personnel to actively monitor the system

Learn more about AXON RWSL lights and LINC 360 that are the foundation of the CORTEX SAFE-r solution

AXON EQ LED inset fixtures

LINC 360