28 Jul 11 Draft Runway Safety Best Practices for Airport Vehicles=

From Airports Council International - North America:
image: aci-na

image: aci-na

1. Acquire and familiarize yourself with current NOTAM prior to entering movement area.
2. Acquire current ATIS (Insert local ATIS frequency & telephone number here) prior to entering movement area.
3. Plan your route of travel to avoid runway crossings. Make maximum use of existing service roads. Know your route prior to initiating contact with ATC.
4. Communicate your vehicle identification, destination and intended route of travel to airport operations or company communication center prior to entering movement area. Confirm you have current ATIS.
5. Read back all hold short and runway crossing instructions issued by ATC using proper phraseology.
6. Cross near runway ends wherever possible.
7. Be aware that an airplane on a runway with landing lights illuminated has been given a takeoff clearance.
8. Stop when approaching any runway, open or closed, and visually verify the runway is clear. Look right and left before proceeding.
9. Each vehicle operating on movement area should be equipped with:
a. Radio communications for appropriate ATC and airport operations or company frequencies.
b. Rotating beacon or light bar.
c. Airport diagram.
d. ATC signal light codes.
e. Accident/incident reporting form.
f. This movement area checklist.
10. Maintain your situational awareness at all times. Eliminate unnecessary distractions. Enforce a policy of "No Cell Phone" use for personnel while operating on the airfield.
11. All vehicle lights (high beams, flashers, beacons, and strobes) should be turned on when crossing or operating on runways, taxiways or the AOA.
12. Conduct opposite flow runway inspections. Runway inspections should be conducted toward the flow of aircraft landing and departing as much as possible.

FMI: Airports Council Intl - North America

I came across this "Best Practices" document for vehicles operating on the airport surface areas and it has a lot of good tips. I especially like the one about NOT using cell phones. I also would add that unless there is a specific reason to be parked on the surface of a runway, don't park there. Leave the vehicle off to the side unless SOP directs otherwise, that way we can reduce the chances of runway collisions (see 17 Jun 11 post below).

Drive Smart,

10 Jul 11 Wildlife Hazards at Airports

image: privatefly

image: privatefly
Reported in The Sun A flamingo caused havoc at Manchester airport last week when a runway had to be shut down while he was shooed away. Here are the top ten animal airport interruptions from privatefly.com
1. Migrating diamondback turtles caused delays during the rush-hour at JFK International in New York.
image: privatefly

image: privatefly

2. Two stowaway frogs grounded an airliner for an hour at Cardiff. It is thought the tree frogs jumped into the aircraft while it was loaded in Cuba for a flight to Britain.
3. Otters caused an 80-minute delay for passengers aboard a flight from Texas. They were supposed to be in cages in the cargo hold but a couple escaped and ran down the gangplank on to the runway.
4. In 2008 a jet was denied landing permission in Florida due to catfish WALKING on the runway. Marooned by high water from a tropical storm, the four fish were joined by two tortoises, a blue indigo snake and an alligator.
5. A swarm of bees affected operations and delayed flights in Manila. Airport workers were stung and the bees prevented controllers from attaching the movable walkways to arriving aircraft.
6. Hares played havoc with the radar systems at the Milan airport in June 2007 and continue to prove a nuisance - also disrupting takeoffs and landings. This has led to a twice-yearly event where volunteers attempt to scare off the animals by blowing whistles and waving their arms.
7. A Qantas airplane missed two scheduled flights in April 2009 when four baby pythons were unaccounted for, following a flight from Alice Springs to Melbourne, Australia. The snakes were being transported in the plane's cargo hold and were thought to be safely packed inside a bag that was secured in a foam box. The plane was fumigated and returned to service, but the snakes were never found.
8. "We're sorry for the delay, but we're having some problems loading the cheetah. We have to do it very carefully". This is what a captain told his passengers in Melbourne in order to explain a 50 minute delay in December 2010.
9. In March 2011, authorities reported a loose coyote on the runway in Atlanta's international airport. It delayed flights for a few minutes until ground crews chased it away.
10. Stray animals are a regular nuisance at airports in India. Within just three months in 2009, 200 dogs were captured and relocated from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. The airport - like others across India - is experienced at dealing with such incidents; other regular animal visitors include jackals, snakes, monkeys and birds.

FMI: Privatefly

Editor: Heard an ATIS at Camp Pendleton, CA once, "Coyotes and birds on the runway..." The score ended up coyotes 1, pigeons 0.
Fly Smart,

7 Jul 11 NOTAM Changes

Beginning June 30, you may notice a few new changes with NOTAMS. In an effort to promote global consistency, the FAA is adopting several format changes to make NOTAMS more ICAO-compliant. As the new Federal NOTAM System (FNS) policy is developed, software changes are being made in the U.S. NOTAM System to enable a smoother transition to the FNS.
Among the changes to be expected are: the keyword RAMP will be replaced with APRON; keywords ODP, SID, STAR, CHART, DATA, IAP, VFP, ROUTE, and SPECIAL will be added; NOTAMS relating to SIDs, graphic ODPs, and STARs will be issued as Flight Data Center (FDC) NOTAMS; and components of an ILS in a NOTAM will be distinguished by preceding the component with “ILS” followed by “RWY” and the runway number. For a full list of the changes, see the FAA notice at www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Notice/N7930.91.pdf. Also, be sure to check out the article “Change is in the Air” from the May/June 2011 issue of FAA Safety Briefing, which takes a closer look at the ongoing efforts to modernize and make NOTAMs easier to use.

Fly Smart,