ATC IssuesA place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.
For civil airports, an 'Aerodrome Beacon' is either flashing alternate white/green OR may be a white strobe light where there is no risk of confusion between airports (s'funny but both Blackbushe and Fairoaks have white strobes and they're not too far apart as the Cessna flys) whilst an 'Identification Beacon' flashes the code letters for the airfield (not necessarily the ICAO letters)in morse code and is coloured green only. A list of these is published in the AIP. At Military airfields the ident beacon flashes red.
I believe the green "LH" beacon, located on Beacon Road, south of the old intersection between 05R and 33L, has long gone. One of the past DCATCOs at Heathrow always used to ask about it during Aerodrome validation boards... "You've driven round the airfield?".. "Yes".... did you notice anything particular on the southside?".. "Er.... the green beacon flashing LH?" "Ah yes.... very good". Tick!
Location: Wivenhoe, not too far from the Clacton VOR
Years ago Stansted had a white rotating jobber. A pain in the eyeballs when trying to get some kip on a night shift. I remember a Channel Airways Comet (that dates me) calling up for the weather and reporting "Field in sight". As he wasn't due for some time I asked where he was. "Overhead Zurich, FL360" or some such high level. To which I replied, "Report downwind lefthand for 23". It was a crystal clear winters night. Apparently he could also see the Cambridge beacon. Happy days.
At civilian airfields, the ident beacon will flash the morse for the predominat instrument approach facility, i.e. if the airfield has an ILS the beacon will flash I - xx, if has an NDB it will flash the code for that e.g for Southend "SND", if there is no instrument approach it will broadcast the ICAO three letter code, i.e HUY.
As I said, these things are incredibly ancient and inefficient, most are a mass of flurescent tubes and very expensive to maintain, consequently when they conk out they go to wherever they go to die.
Niknak you're talking rubbish! Ident beacons whether civil or miltary ONLY flash a 2-letter morse ident which in many cases bears no relationship to the 4-letter ICAO code OR the 3-letter IATA code OR the iap facility code! However, the ident beacon will flash the same letters as the two in the airfield signals square.
frostbite, the beacon is below the tree line, so from the North/Northwest on the ground it would be difficult to see. From the air it is very visible. On Hazy/misty evenings you can see the glow from the rotating beacon.