Aircraft Emergency Floor Path Illumination

Aircraft Emergency Floor Path Illumination


In a smoke filled cabin, passengers and crew may quickly lose situational awareness. It is usual for smoke to fill the cabin from the roof down, obscuring sources of illumination in the ceiling and overhead panels. Emergency floor path illumination provides guidance to passengers in an evacuation.

Emergency floor path illumination is not necessarily 'lighting' - photo luminescent strips are widely used because they are independent of the aircraft electrical system.

Emergency Floor Path Illumination Requirements

European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations both stipulate requirements for emergency floor path illlumination. The principles are:

  • When smoke is obscuring sources of illumination, or in darkness, the emergency floor lighting should be sufficiently bright to see.
  • After leaving their seat, emergency floor lighting must enable the passenger to visually identify the escape path to the first exits forward and aft of their seat.
  • The emergency lighting must be able to operate in the event of an interruption of the aircraft’s normal electric power supply.

Regulations also stipulate requirements for exterior lighting to enable evacuating passengers to locate the means to descend to the ground from, for example, overwing exits.

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