When is the beacon operated at airports?

The beacon is operated from sunset to sunrise and when less than VFR conditions during the day.

Although the beacon is often on during IFR conditions, the fact that a beacon may be off during the day, does not constitute VFR conditions.  A pilot must confirm the conditions.

Reference(s):

FAA-H-8083-25B Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge pg. 14-16

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