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Glass Beads

  • April 06, 2017
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Should be a simple answer. The advisory circular is not very clear on the use of glass beads in the surface painted hold signs. Do you put glass beads in the red paint as well as the white paint or just the white paint? Some of our markings have both and some have just the white. We are trying to make everything consistent. 

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durwief8, You're right. Are you in the southern region by chance?!

Just be careful you don't end up with "glass bead FOD" in the areas adjacent to any markings. That could result in an inspection discrepancy.  ;-)   

We put Type III beads on the white numbers and Type I on the red. The contrast is perfect and our Vert. Inspectors love it.

PHFOPS, MCW and Mr. Quilty are correct. I will add that any type of glass bead will "wash out" a colored sign background if it's not applied properly, and if you can afford it, it's best to wait for the background to fully cure before applying the stenciled inscription.

created at: 07/14/2015

Mike Speidel


AC 150/5430-1L states "Due to the additional increase in marking conspicuity caused by certain glass beads, the FAA recommends that runway holding position markings contain either Type III or Type IV glass beads as determined by the airport operator (page 11)" However, if further states on page 11 in the box (as does AC 150/5370-10G) that Type III beads should not be applied to red or pink paint. The FAA restricts glass beads in red or pink markings to either Type I or Type IV in red and reduces the coverage rate to two (2) pounds per gallon (AC 150/5370-10G).


Thank you MCWOPS! That's what I was thinking. 

Yes, both red and white get the beads.  The only caveat is not to use Type III beads, and to reduce the application rate or else the red gets washed out by light at night.  Look in AC 150/5370-10G, P-620 on page 430.  

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