Can This Happen At Your Airport?

We strongly suggest you read the scenarios below and consider what you can do to prevent a surface incident at your airport!

These are actual Surface Incidents recently reported on Southern Region FAR Part 139 Airports.

  • ATCT approved an airport vehicle onto the approach end of the runway for inspection. An aircraft was also cleared for takeoff on the same runway. The aircraft continued the departure and passed less than 200’ above the approach end of the runway. Even when vehicles and aircraft are cleared, drivers and pilots need to remain aware, on the lookout, and mindful of events that can occur.

  • A taxicab accessed the airfield and crossed an active runway and taxiway. Although there were several ‘stop’ and ‘no vehicles beyond this point’ signs, the driver continued. The driver was charged with trespassing. Do you require your FBOs to escort taxis? Are taxicabs allowed to drive on the ramp area at your airport?

  • Does your airport have an air show or special event that’s held on airport grounds? Make sure you have a thorough plan to control all movement areas and make sure attendees, volunteers, and other persons do not make their way onto movement areas. For example: a volunteer for refueling work at a balloon festival was late arriving to the airfield. Because he was late, he didn’t know where to go. He jumped over a fence to look for the event coordinator. After he crossed two taxiways and a runway, an aircraft had to be diverted, and he was apprehended and escorted off airport grounds. Does your special event procedures include security steps to ensure that a vehicle/pedestrian deviation similar to this doesn’t occur?

  • An aircraft was rendered disabled on the runway after landing, and was unable to clear the runway. The pilot requested assistance to take the passengers to the hanger. Transportation was being arranged but wasn’t available immediately. Upon notifying the pilot of the arrangements, the pilot informed them that the passengers were walking to the FBO and were already halfway there. The passengers crossed two active taxiways and a runway. The passengers were moved and told why this was unacceptable. If an aircraft is disabled, do your procedures ensure that this wouldn’t happen at your airport? Talk about this during the next users’ safety meeting. What could the FBO have done to prevent this type of incident?

  • A man went into an FBO and asked the operator several strange questions. He then walked out and the FBO operator returned to work. The same man then went into an aircraft hanger where another employee was working and ran through the back door, crossing a runway and a taxiway. After airport security apprehended him local police arrested him. Is there standard protocol for your airport tenants when it comes to unusual circumstances? Is there security limiting access to the ramp and movement area? The FBO operator knew that this man was acting strangely and asking odd questions, so why didn’t the FBO operator challenge the individual? Why didn’t he question the fact that the individual was not wearing an airport ID? Make your tenants aware that they should be alert to all unauthorized vehicles and people.

Remember:   “Runway Safety is Everyone’s Business!”