Aids to Navigation (ATON):

It is an external device or system, designed to operate and improve the efficiency and safety of ships navigation and their traffic in maritime passages.

About Lighthouses (Pharos):

Egypt took for so many years ago care of the establishment of lighthouses, as a good example, we have Alexandria Tower, one of the ancient Seven Wonders. Lighthouses are used to facilitate the navigation in the night and day. It shortened the length of journey to half its duration.


  • Locate ports from distance.
  • Position vessels while navigating.
  • Facilitate coastal shipping.
  • Identify ports approaches and entrances.
  • Locate shoals waters and submerged islands which may endanger safety of navigation; ex-Red Sea Island.

Work Mechanism:

  • Each lighthouse has its distance sign which could be recognized by seafarers from distance though its shape and color by day or its flashes characteristics (range, color, intervals) by night. It is measured in nautical miles.
  • Lighthouses are put on a few minutes before sunset and are off a few minutes after sun rise and always on during mist.

Lighthouses Types:

  • Manned Lighthouses:
  • Has staffs of supervisors who works in shifts. At sunset it is lighted by electricity.

  • Unmanned Lighthouses:
  • Use solar energy for lighting.

    Lighthouses are monitored and controlled by main control center in Max, Alex equipped to identify and repair troubleshooting.


  • A fixed installation distinguished by shape, color pattern, lights details, day sign or a set of these characteristics and could be with or without light and can be used as an identification line.

ATON are divided as per their location to: