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Windsock Masts

Basic Information

Regulations &
Technical Information

Case Studies

Pollite Windsock Masts

All Pollite Windsock masts are manufactured from glassfibre and polyester resin, finished with a UV resistant gel coat. Each pole has a unique break system incorporated within the main mast and is coloured to client specifications. The windsock cone is manufactured from 316 marine grade stainless steel and both external and internal lighting is available. All windsocks are manufactured from a durable polyester which is available hypalon coated if required and UV tested to ensure a longer vibrancy of colour.

All our Airfield and Heliport windsock masts are compliant with CAA’s CAP168 and ICAO’s Annex 14 Vol. 1 Aerodrome Design and Operations requirements. They comply fully with the frangibility requirements stipulated in ICAO’s Aerodrome Design Manual, pt. 6 frangibility and FAA AC 150/5345-27D.

Windsock/Windsleeve

All windsocks are manufactured in-house to meet ICAO and CAA requirements for size, material and colour. Client specific colours can be provided and all colours used are designed to give maximum contrast with their background.

Recommended Windsock Size

Minimum length 3600mm, Minimum diameter 900mm

Colour Recommendations for Wind Socks

Wind direction indicators need to be visible and understandable from a height of up to 300m.

  • ICAO Single Colour recommendations: Orange or White

  • ICAO Two Colour recommendations: Orange/White, Black/White or Red/White

The windsock is attached to the mast by means of a rigid mounting frame (similar in shape to a drum) that can freely rotate around the mast giving a clear indication of wind direction particularly in lighter wind conditions.

Windsock Mast

All windsock masts are manufactured from frangible glassfibre with a UV resistant gel coat finish, coloured red and white as standard. The windsock is supported on a stainless steel framework, designed to rotate 360 degree around the mast and to hold the throat of the windsock fully open in all wind conditions. Rotation is ensured by a series of enclosed lubricated stainless steel bearings for the internally lit sock or self lubricating bearings for the externally lit mast.

All Pollite windsock masts come complete with a unique hinged foot which allows for easier raising and lowering of the mast for servicing the lighting or windsock.

With Internally Lit Sock

ICAO// FAA L807 Style I-B// L806 Style I-B

For aerodromes that are used at night our standard lighting system for windsock masts has been engineered to provide the correct level of illumination as recommended by ICAO and FAA without causing unwanted glare.

As per FAA requirements each internal lighting mechanism comes complete with two light fittings ensuring that the failure of one light will not render the mast ineffective and the average luminance of the sock has been measured to ensure compliance with the photometric requirements of FAA AC 150/5345-27D.

An Obstruction Light is fitted as standard on all masts and available with our 50,000 hr LED light fitting.

A photocell and double switch is provided as standard to ensure best function.

With Externally Lit Sock

CAP 168//ICAO// FAA L807 Style I-A // L806 Style I-A

Lighting on the externally lit sock is achieved from 4 No. 70 Watt SON Floodlights secured to a cross arm arrangement at the top of the mast. The illumination provided complies with the FAA and CAP 168 photometric requirements.

An Obstruction Light is fitted as standard on all masts and available with our 50,000 hr LED light fitting.

A photocell and double switch is provided as standard to ensure best function

Regulations & Technical Information

In 2006, the frangibility and deflection/wind speed requirements of approach lighting masts and other obstacles were more clearly defined with the publication of the ICAO’s Aerodrome Design Manual, Part 6 Frangibility. A manual designed to be read in conjunction with Annex 14 but offering clearer guidance on the design, testing and installation of frangible structures at airports. Frangible objects, as defined within the manual were to be of a low mass and designed to break, distort or yield on impact presenting a minimum hazard to an aircraft.

Annex 14 Vol 1 Chapter 9 specifies in detail the equipment and installations of operational significance on the airfield which should be frangible; including:

  • Any visual or non visual aid located near runways, taxiways and aprons.
  • Any obstacle located on an area intended for the surface movement of aircraft or that extend above a surface intended to protect an aircraft in flight.
  • Any structure that presents a hazard to aircraft in the event of accidental impact during landing, take off or ground manoeuvring. Including:
    • Elevated runway, taxiway and stopway lights
    • Approach lighting systems
    • Visual Approach Slope Indicator
    • Wind Direction Indicators
    • ILS equipment
    • MLS Approach equipment
    • Radar reflectors
    • Anemometers
    • Ceilometers
    • Transmissometers
    • Forward Scatter Meters
    • Fencing

ICAO’s Aerodrome Design Manual, Part 6 Frangibility looks more closely at the design, siting and testing requirements for operational equipment that is required to be frangible.
"The frangibility of any aid should always be proven before the aid is considered for installation"

The manual sets out a general expectation for testing of frangible masts including procedures and acceptance or rejection criteria.

  • The structure should Break/Distort/Yield when subjected to the sudden collision forces of a 3000kg airbourne aircraft travelling at 140km/h or on ground at 50km/h.
  • The structure on impact should not become entangled with the aircraft affecting its manoeuvrability.
  • The structure should not impose a force on the aircraft in excess of 45kN
  • Maximum energy imparted as a result of the collision should not exceed 55kJ
  • Design of the mast should take into consideration individual components should be lowest mass possible
  • Full consideration should be given to cabling and its segmentation.

Testing for Frangibility

“High Speed, full scale testing is a proven method for verification of frangibility” - 5.1.2 Testing for Frangibility ICAO Aerodrome Design Manual Pt 6

Within this ICAO design manual is the clear guidance that frangibility in masts exceeding 1.2m must be verified through full scale dynamic testing to ensure full compliance with the above mentioned criteria. This testing is specifically recommended for:

  • Approach lighting masts
  • Wind Direction Indicators
  • Transmissometers

FAA Advisory Circular No. 150/5345-45C Low Impact Resistant Structures

As with ICAO the FAA issued in March 2007 an advisory circular with their own specifications for frangible masts used to support approach lighting systems. With specific regard to frangibility the FAA circular follows the same frangible design goals as ICAO’s Design Manual but there are differences with regard to:

Case Studies


Pollite provides Approach System to one of the World's Most Remote Cities

Pollite provides Approach System to one of the World's Most Remote Cities

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Providing Approach Masts to endure harsh desert conditions

Providing Approach Masts to endure harsh desert conditions

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A bespoke frangible alternative to non-compliant concrete structures for Sunny Beach

A bespoke frangible alternative to non-compliant concrete structures for Sunny Beach

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