Section 3. Airport Conditions
3-3-1. LANDING AREA CONDITION
If you observe or are informed of any condition which affects the safe use of a landing area:
2. It is the responsibility of the agency operating the airport to provide the tower with current information regarding airport conditions.
3. A disabled aircraft on a runway, after occupants are clear, is normally handled by flight standards and airport management/military operations office personnel in the same manner as any obstruction; e.g., construction equipment.
a. Relay the information to the airport manager/military operations office concerned.
b. Copy verbatim any information received and record the name of the person submitting it.
c. Confirm information obtained from other than authorized airport or FAA personnel unless this function is the responsibility of the military operations office.
d. If you are unable to contact the airport management or operator, issue a NOTAM publicizing an unsafe condition and inform the management or operator as soon as practicable.
2. Military controllers are not authorized to issue NOTAMs. It is the responsibility of the military operations office.
e. Issue to aircraft only factual information, as reported by the airport management concerning the condition of the runway surface, describing the accumulation of precipitation.
3-3-2. CLOSED/UNSAFE RUNWAY INFORMATION
If an aircraft requests to takeoff, land, or touch-and-go on a closed or unsafe runway, inform the pilot the runway is closed or unsafe, and
a. If the pilot persists in his/her request, quote him/her the appropriate parts of the NOTAM applying to the runway and inform him/her that a clearance cannot be issued.
b. Then, if the pilot insists and in your opinion the intended operation would not adversely affect other traffic, inform him/her that the operation will be at his/her own risk.
c. Except as permitted by para 4-8-7, Side-step Maneuver, where parallel runways are served by separate ILS/MLS systems and one of the runways is closed, the ILS/MLS associated with the closed runway should not be used for approaches unless not using the ILS/MLS would have an adverse impact on the operational efficiency of the airport.
3-3-3. TIMELY INFORMATION
Issue airport condition information necessary for an aircraft's safe operation in time for it to be useful to the pilot. Include the following, as appropriate:
a. Construction work on or immediately adjacent to the movement area.
b. Rough portions of the movement area.
c. Braking conditions caused by ice, snow, slush, or water.
d. Snowdrifts or piles of snow on or along the edges of the area and the extent of any plowed area.
e. Parked aircraft on the movement area.
f. Irregular operation of part or all of the airport lighting system.
g. Volcanic ash on any airport surface area and whether the ash is wet or dry (if known).
h. Other pertinent airport conditions.
3-3-4. BRAKING ACTION
Furnish quality of braking action, as received from pilots or the airport management, to all aircraft as follows:
a. Describe the quality of braking action using the terms “good,” “fair,” “poor,” “nil,” or a combination of these terms. If the pilot or airport management reports braking action in other than the foregoing terms, ask him/her to categorize braking action in these terms.
b. Include type of aircraft or vehicle from which the report is received.
c. If the braking action report affects only a portion of a runway, obtain enough information from the pilot or airport management to describe the braking action in terms easily understood by the pilot.
d. Furnish runway friction measurement readings/values as received from airport management to aircraft as follows:
1. Furnish information as received from the airport management to pilots on the ATIS at locations where friction measuring devices, such as MU-Meter, Saab Friction Tester (SFT), and Skiddometer are in use only when the MU values are 40 or less. Use the runway followed by the MU number for each of the three runway segments, time of report, and a word describing the cause of the runway friction problem. Do not issue MU values when all three segments of the runway have values reported greater than 40.
2. Issue the runway surface condition and/or the Runway Condition Reading (RCR), if provided, to all USAF and ANG aircraft. Issue the RCR to other aircraft upon pilot request.
2. USAF offices furnish RCR information at airports serving USAF and ANG aircraft.
3-3-5. BRAKING ACTION ADVISORIES
a. When runway braking action reports are received from pilots or the airport management which include the terms “fair,” “poor,” or “nil” or whenever weather conditions are conducive to deteriorating or rapidly changing runway conditions, include on the ATIS broadcast the statement “Braking Action Advisories are in effect.”
b. During the time Braking Action Advisories are in effect, take the following action:
1. Issue the latest braking action report for the runway in use to each arriving and departing aircraft early enough to be of benefit to the pilot. When possible, include reports from heavy jet aircraft when the arriving or departing aircraft is a heavy jet.
2. If no report has been received for the runway of intended use, issue an advisory to that effect.
3. Advise the airport management that runway braking action reports of “fair,” “poor,” or “nil” have been received.
4. Solicit PIREPs of runway braking action.
c. Include runway friction measurement/values received from airport management on the ATIS. Furnish the information when requested by the pilot in accordance with para 3-3-4, Braking Action.
3-3-6. ARRESTING SYSTEM OPERATION
a. For normal operations, arresting systems remotely controlled by ATC must remain in the retracted or down position.
2. A request to raise a barrier or hook cable means the barrier or cable on the departure end of the runway. If an approach end engagement is required, the pilot or military authority will specifically request that the approach end cable be raised.
b. Raise aircraft arresting systems whenever:
1. Requested by a pilot.
2. Requested by military authority; e.g., airfield manager, supervisor of flying, mobile control officer, etc.
3. A military jet aircraft is landing with known or suspected radio failure or conditions (drag chute/hydraulic/electrical failure, etc.) that indicate an arresting system may be needed. Exceptions are authorized for military aircraft which cannot engage an arresting system (C-9, C-141, C-5, T-39, etc.) and should be identified in a letter of agreement and/or appropriate military directive.
c. When requested by military authority due to freezing weather conditions or malfunction of the activating mechanism, the barrier/cable may remain in a raised position provided aircraft are advised.
d. Inform civil and U.S. Army aircraft whenever rubber supported cables are in place at the approach end of the landing runway, and include the distance of the cables from the threshold. This information may be omitted if it is published in the “Notices to Airmen” publication/DOD FLIP.
e. When arresting system operation has been requested, inform the pilot of the indicated barrier/cable position.
f. Time permitting, advise pilots of the availability of all arresting systems on the runway in question when a pilot requests barrier information.
g. If an aircraft engages a raised barrier/cable, initiate crash alarm procedures immediately.
h. For preplanned practice engagements not associated with emergencies, crash alarm systems need not be activated if, in accordance with local military operating procedures, all required notifications are made before the practice engagement.
3-3-7. FAR FIELD MONITOR (FFM) REMOTE STATUS UNIT
a. To meet the demand for more facilities capable of operating under CAT III weather, Type II equipment is being upgraded to Integrity Level 3. This integrity level will support operations which place a high degree of reliance on ILS guidance for positioning through touchdown.
b. Installation of the FFM remote status indicating units is necessary to attain the integrity necessary to meet internationally agreed upon reliability values in support of CAT III operations on Type II ILS equipment. The remote status indicating unit used in conjunction with Type II equipment adds a third integrity test; thereby, producing an approach aid which has integrity capable of providing Level 3 service.
c. The remote status sensing unit, when installed in the tower cab, will give immediate indications of localizer out-of-tolerance conditions. The alarm in the FFM remote status sensing unit indicates an inoperative or an out-of-tolerance localizer signal; e.g., the course may have shifted due to equipment malfunction or vehicle/aircraft encroachment into the critical area.
d. Operation of the FFM remote sensing unit will be based on the prevailing weather. The FFM remote sensing unit must be operational when the weather is below CAT I ILS minimums.
e. When the remote status unit indicates that the localizer FFM is in alarm (aural warning following the preset delay) and:
1. The aircraft is outside the middle marker (MM), check for encroachment those portions of the critical area that can be seen from the tower. It is understood that the entire critical area may not be visible due to low ceilings and poor visibility. The check is strictly to determine possible causal factors for the out-of-tolerance situation. If the alarm has not cleared prior to the aircraft's arriving at the MM, immediately issue an advisory that the FFM remote status sensing unit indicates the localizer is unreliable.
2. The aircraft is between the MM and the inner marker (IM), immediately issue an advisory that the FFM remote status sensing unit indicates the localizer is unreliable.
3. The aircraft has passed the IM, there is no action requirement. Although the FFM has been modified with filters which dampen the effect of false alarms, you may expect alarms when aircraft are located between the FFM and the localizer antenna either on landing or on takeoff.