Alert -- A CONSTRUCTION LESSON LEARNED

Earlier this year, an incursion at a Southern Region airport originated at a construction access point. The incident emphasizes how appropriate procedures should always be in place to prevent entry onto airport movement areas.

In this case, an elderly driver was disoriented and became lost. While apparently trying to navigate around the airport, the driver entered the airfield through an open construction access gate. A gate monitor was present, but the gate was open to expedite entry of authorized construction vehicles. The monitor stopped the vehicle, but the driver proceeded into the movement area despite being challenged. Unfortunately, the monitor didn't have a telephone or a radio to report the occurrence. The vehicle was next seen on the active runway.

Please! Airport Operators must make sure that suitable and effective precautionary procedures are established at all points that allow access to the Airport Operations Area (AOA).

These procedures must be adequate to stop unintentional or unauthorized entry of any vehicle, person, or animal. Once procedures are established, they must be: (1) verified by the airport operator to determine if they are adequate, and (2) monitored so the responsible contractor complies with the directive.

We strongly encourage all airports to review the new Advisory Circular 150/5370-2E Operational Safety on Airports During Construction, and incorporate requirements into the construction safety plan. The Advisory Circular will help you craft a comprehensive safety guide to use throughout the construction project. Follow the procedures in the Advisory Circular to establish penalty provisions for non-compliance with the safety plan into the contract documents, and enforce the penalty if you detect a violation. The FAA holds the airport responsible for violations - so the airport should hold contractors responsible for maintaining the level of safety and security needed to prevent an unauthorized entry onto the movement area.

Contact an FAA Certification Inspector or the Airports District Office Project Manager if you have questions or need further information.  Click here for a link to Southern Region's Airports Division.