ILS (Instrument Landing System)


The Instrument Landing System (ILS) is a ground-based instrument approach system that provides precision guidance to an aircraft approaching and landing on a runway, using a combination of radio signals and, in many cases, high-intensity lighting arrays to enable a safe landing during inclement weather conditions, such as low ceilings or reduced visibility due to fog, rain, or blowing snow. The system consists of two independent subsystems — the localizer (provides lateral guidance), and the glide slope (provides vertical guidance). The ILS works by transmitting radio waves downrange from the runway end, with aircraft that are in the 'beam' receiving the signals. The pilot's instruments interpret these signals, allowing the pilot to fly a descent path to the runway. The ILS is designed to be reliable and accurate, and is critical to the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations in poor weather conditions.


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