Advisory Circular (AC) No. 302-004

Use of a Follow-me Vehicle Service to Support Reduced/Low Visibility Operations

Issuing Office: Standards    
PAA Sub Activity Area: Aviation Safety Regulatory Framework Document No.: AC 302-004
Classification File No.: A 5500-15-4 U Issue No.: 01
RDIMS No.: 5185504-V4 Effective Date: 2009-09-18

1.0  INTRODUCTION

This Advisory Circular (AC) is provided for information and guidance purposes. It may describe an example of an acceptable means, but not the only means, of demonstrating compliance with regulations and standards. This AC on its own does not change, create, amend or permit deviations from regulatory requirements, nor does it establish minimum standards.

1.1  Purpose

This document is intended to provide guidance to airport operators in regards to the conditions of exemptions to the use of a follow-me vehicle service to support reduced/low visibility operations.

1.2  Applicability

This document is applicable to all Canadian airport operators conducting reduced/low visibility operations below runway visual range (RVR) 2600 (1/2sm).

1.3  Description of Changes

Not applicable.

2.0  REFERENCES AND REQUIREMENTS

2.1  Reference Documents

It is intended that the following reference materials be used in conjunction with this document:

  1. Aeronautics Act;

  2. Part III, Subpart 02 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)—Airports; Transport Canada Publication (TP) 312 Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices, 4th Edition, March 1993.

  3. Civil Aviation Directive (CAD) 1, Revision 4—Exemptions from Regulatory Requirements; and

  4. Civil Aviation Directive (CAD) 30, Revision 4—Risk Management and Decision-Making in Civil Aviation.

2.2  Cancelled Documents

Not applicable.

2.3  Definitions and Abbreviations

The following definitions and abbreviations are used in this document:

  1. ATC means “Air Traffic Control”.

  2. Low Visibility Operations - means operations below RVR 1200 (¼ statute mile).

  3. Low Visibility Operations Plan (LVOP) - means a plan that calls for specific procedures by the airport operator and/or ATC when visibility is below RVR 1200 (¼ statute mile).  The LVOP would be activated or terminated when the RVR is stabilized at the targeted RVR.  This is consistent with CAR 602 in recognizing fluctuating or localized weather conditions.

  4. Reduced Visibility Operations means operations below RVR 2600 (½ statute mile) down to and including RVR 1200 (¼ statute mile).

  5. Reduced Visibility Operations Plan (RVOP) means a plan that calls for specific procedures by the airport operator and/or ATC when visibility is below RVR 2600 (½ statute mile) down to and including RVR 1200 (¼ statute mile). The RVOP would be activated or terminated when the RVR is stabilized at the targeted RVR.  This is consistent with CAR 602 in recognizing fluctuating or localized weather conditions. 

3.0  BACKGROUND

  1. In response to requests by stakeholders, Transport Canada has reviewed the possibility of using a follow-me vehicle to support reduced or low visibility operations on a permanent basis.  Transport Canada concurred that the use of a follow-me vehicle can be used on a permanent basis, however at this time an exemption is required until the standards can be amended. The information in this Advisory Circular is intended to assist airport operators and Transport Canada Inspectors in the drafting and approval of such exemptions.

4.0  CONDITIONS OF EXEMPTIONS

4.1  General Requirements

  1. Documented procedures within the Airport Operations Manual (AOM).

  2. Dedicated service when visibility conditions are below RVR 2600 [½ statute mile (sm)].

  3. "Follow-me" vehicle to be in position with the aircraft before the aircraft moves under its own power, ideally before aircraft engine start.

4.2  Vehicle Operator Requirements

  1. Subjects to be addressed in the Annual Training Program

    1. Reduced/low visibility procedures.

    2. Communication procedures, including receipt and read-back of taxi clearances.

    3. Airside layout (taxiways, runway, aprons, particularly those portions of the maneuvering area to be used under reduced / low visibility conditions).

    4. Considerations when marshalling aircraft – speed, surface friction, etc.

    5. Training Objective – to have a vehicle operator that has good situational awareness and is very adept in maneuvering on airside when visibilities are below RVR 2600 (½ sm), both day and night.

  2. Where ATC is present the procedures established should ensure that the vehicle operator is made aware where marshalling begins following landing and where marshalling ends prior to take off.

  3. Where no ATC is present, the vehicle operator must advise the aircrew of intended taxi routing, including beginning and end point of marshalling service.

4.3  Vehicle Requirements

  1. Must be uniquely marked (as viewed by the aircrew).

  2. Must be equipped with lights or a ‘light bar’ and these are not turned on until the marshalling actually starts.

  3. Must have appropriate communications equipment, and the vehicle is to be on a common frequency with aircraft [Ground, tower, Mandatory Frequency (MF) or Aerodrome Traffic Frequency (ATF) as appropriate].

  4. Must have a detailed airside map for the vehicle operator, including signage and other items that are beneficial for location identification when maneuvering in visibilities below RVR 2600 (½ sm).

4.4  ATC Requirements (where available)

  1. Where ATC is present the taxi clearance procedures should ensure that the aircrew and the vehicle operator both get the clearance.

  2. The procedures established should ensure that the aircrew are made aware where marshalling begins following landing and where marshalling ends prior to take off.

4.5  Flight Service Specialist (FSS) Requirements (where available)

  1. Taxi routing should be delivered to the vehicle operator, who will in turn advise the aircrew of the intended taxi routing, including beginning and end point of marshalling service.

5.0  SUMMARY

  1. Where the airport operator wishes to use a follow-me vehicle on a permanent basis, the above conditions will form the basis for the issuance of an Exemption by Transport Canada.

6.0  CONTACT OFFICE

For more information please contact:
Transport Canada Civil Aviation – Regional Aerodromes and Air Navigation Offices.
Website: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/opssvs/regions-139.htm

Suggestions for amendment to this document are invited, and should be submitted via the Transport Canada Civil Aviation Issues Reporting System (CAIRS) at the following Internet address:

www.tc.gc.ca/CAIRS 

or by e-mail at: CAIRS_NCR@tc.gc.ca


ORIGINAL SIGNED BY:
Don Sherritt

D.B. Sherritt
Director, Standards
Civil Aviation

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