Advisory Circular (AC) No. 302-006

Publication of Special Reduced/Low Visibility Procedures in the appropriate Aeronautical Information Publication(s)

Issuing Office: Standards    
PAA Sub Activity Area: Aviation Safety Regulatory Framework Document No.: AC 302-006
Classification File No.: A 5100-1 P/A Issue No.: 02
RDIMS No.: 5379750-v5 Effective Date: 2009-12-17

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

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for the publication of the special reduced/low visibility restrictions and procedures required by pilots.

1.2  Applicability

This document applies to all Canadian aerodrome operators conducting reduced/low visibility operations below runway visual range (RVR) 2600 (½ statute mile (SM)).

1.3  Description of changes

Editorial changes in the references and definitions. Background updated to reflect October 15th 2009 meeting with industry representatives. Reduced Visibility Operations Plan (RVOP)/ Low Visibility Operations Plan (LVOP) restrictions and procedures updated to reflect the differences between operations at an aerodrome with or without an active Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower.

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 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)—Aerodromes, Airports, and Heliports;

  3. Part VI, Subpart 02 of the CARs—Operating and Flight Rules;

  4. Advisory Circular (AC) 602-002, Issue 01, 2009-12-17Aerodrome Operating Visibility;

  5. AC 302-001, Issue 01, 2008-03-07—Publication of the Level of Service with Respect to Departure Below RVR 2600 (1/2 Statute Mile);

  6. AC 700-007, Issue 02, 2009-10-06—Airport Taxi-in/Taxi-out Requirements in Reduced/Low Visibility;

  7. Commercial and Business Aviation Advisory Circular (CBAAC) No. 0256, dated 2006-07-31—Low Visibility Take-off Airport Requirements;

  8. NAV CANADA publication—Canada Flight Supplement;

  9. NAV CANADA publication—Canada Air Pilot.

2.2  Cancelled documents

AC 302-006 Issue 01 - Publication of Special Reduced/Low Visibility Procedures in the appropriate Aeronautical Information Publication(s), dated 2009-09-14.

2.3  Definitions and abbreviations

The following definitions and abbreviations are used in this document:

  1. ATC: means Air Traffic Control.

  2. CAP: means the Canada Air Pilot.

  3. CFS: means the Canada Flight Supplement.

  4. Low Visibility Operations: means operations below RVR 1200 (¼ SM).

  5. LVOP (Low Visibility Operations Plan): means a plan that calls for specific procedures established by the aerodrome operator and/or ATC when aerodrome visibility is below RVR 1200 (¼ SM).

  6. Reduced Visibility Operations: means operations below RVR 2600 (½ SM) down to and including RVR 1200 (¼ SM).

  7. Reduced Visibility Operations Plan (RVOP): means a plan that calls for specific procedures established by the aerodrome operator and/or ATC when aerodrome visibility is below RVR 2600 (½ SM) down to and including RVR 1200 (¼ SM).

  8. RVR: means Runway Visual Range.

  9. SM: means statute mile.

3.0  BACKGROUND

  1. On May 8th, 2009, Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) met with Aviation Industry Associations, NAV CANADA and the Department of National Defence (DND). At this meeting Industry requested, and TCCA agreed, to publish guidance material for aerodrome operators related to the publication of the special reduced/low visibility restrictions and procedures required by pilots.

  2. A further meeting held October 15th 2009, with industry representatives, included the flight operations departments of various Canadian airlines. The result of this meeting reinforced the criticality of clear and accurate guidance for aircraft operations in order to assist in the aircrews and flight departments in their planning and decision making process.

4.0  RVOP/LVOP RESTRICTIONS AND PROCEDURES

4.1  General

  1. Aircraft may operate in areas of lower visibility than reported by the RVR unit of the intended runway of operation (where provided) or METAR while taxing to / from that runway.

  2. During the taxi operation, the visibility encountered could be lower than the level of service for the runway of intended operation, as established under the certification program. An aerodrome operator could establish an RVOP or LVOP to manage the taxiing operations in a manner that provides an acceptable level of safety while respecting the regulatory requirements established under Part III of the CARs. The lowest reported visibility should be considered to trigger the implementation of reduced/low visibility procedures.

  3. At a site with an active ATC tower, in order to allow landing operations and taxi after landing to occur when the visibility is below the certification level of the airport, the flow of traffic for departing aircraft must be stopped or managed through a plan developed by the aerodrome operator.

  4. Aerodrome operators must therefore establish a means by which they will stop taxi out operations when the visibility is below the certification level of the airport, or where appropriate, establish a reduced or low visibility operations plan to manage the continuance of ground operations.

    Example – at a site with a level of service of RVR 1200 (¼ SM) and the visibility is below ¼ SM but he RVR for the runway of intended use is at or above 1200, the airport operator must establish procedures to stop taxi out operations unless a Low Visibility Plan is in place. In this example, the plan could enable taxi out operations to continue if aircraft movements are restricted to one aircraft at a time on the manoeuvring area while managing vehicular and other ground traffic away from the taxiing aircraft.

  5. The RVOP or LVOP should contain restrictions and procedures to support taxiing operations when visibility conditions in any area of the aerodrome are considered to be reduced or low. To avoid traffic conflict in poor visibility, the ATC tower would typically manage the flow of ground traffic in consideration of the restrictions and procedures contained in the plan.

  6. A plan containing restrictions and procedures to support taxi operations may also be established at a site without an active ATC tower. However, the operational flexibility would typically be reduced due to the absence of positive control to manage the ground flow of traffic through these areas of poor visibility. At such sites, specific operating restrictions and procedures need to be published pursuant to paragraph 602.96 (3)(d) of the CARs to ensure that aircraft are prohibited from taxiing on the manoeuvring area until a proceeding aircraft has left the manoeuvring area after it has either landed or departed. The aerodrome operator should establish procedures to manage other traffic such as vehicles, in similar fashion during poor visibility conditions to minimize any potential conflict with taxiing aircraft.

  7. In all situations, any specific restrictions and procedures required by air operators and pilots need to be published in the appropriate aeronautical information publications.

4.2  Publication of special reduced/low visibility restrictions and procedures

Aerodrome operators should consider the following elements in a typical RVOP/LVOP as restrictions, procedures and information to be published in the aeronautical information publications:

  1. Portions of the manoeuvring area not to be used:

    1. Example: Some sites may exclude, in accordance with their certification level, a part of the aerodrome used exclusively by aircraft not authorized to conduct reduced/low visibility operations. Similarly, some sites may conduct low visibility operations on part of the aerodrome and reduced visibility operations on another part. In such cases, the aerodrome operator should indicate to pilots those portions of the aerodrome that do not support reduced/low visibility operations.

  2. Specific runway(s) to be closed, or restrictions on the use of specific runway(s).

  3. Specific taxiway(s) to be closed, or restrictions on the use of specific taxiway(s).

  4. Specific taxi routes to be used, including (but not limited to):

    1. Use of one-way flows;

    2. Routes to/from de-icing facilities; and

    3. Routes for follow-me vehicles.

  5. Specific procedures for aircraft proceeding to/from de-icing facilities>

  6. Specific procedures for follow-me vehicles, i.e., communication procedures (including receipt and read-back of taxi clearances) and marshalling procedures>

  7. Specific restrictions and procedures to reposition aircraft for maintenance or other operational purposes.

  8. At sites where the ATC tower operates limited hours, specific restrictions and procedures may need to be published outside of these operating hours.

  9. Specific restrictions and procedures where the number of aircraft operating on the manoeuvring area has been limited to one aircraft at a time.

  10. Where the complexity of the aerodrome warrants it, the aerodrome operator needs to consider a specific reduced/low visibility taxi/ground movement chart.

  11. Any conditions pertinent to the pilot/air operator, if an exemption has been issued to the aerodrome operator in support of reduced/low visibility operations.

  12. For the purposes of reduced/low visibility operations, rotorcrafts are normally treated like any other aircraft. Rotorcraft, either wheel or skid equipped, normally use runways for reduced/low visibility operations therefore, their taxi requirements are the same as for fixed-wing aircraft.

  13. Where specific IFR departure locations or heliports are located on the aerodrome, restrictions and procedures for the use of these facilities need to be published for pilots.

  14. Note: Once at the take-off point, rotorcraft are permitted to take-off when the visibility is one half the CAP value but not less than ¼ SM.

  15. Any other pertinent elements.

5.0  SUMMARY

Aerodrome operators are requested to submit their special reduced/low visibility restrictions and procedures to the Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) provider, NAV CANADA – AIS Data Collection division (aisdata@navcanada.ca), for publication in the CFS or CAP as part of the NAV CANADA—Integrated Aeronautical Information Package. For Frequently asked Questions (FAQs) please refer to the following link:
Reduced/Low Visibility Operations Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

6.0  CONTACT OFFICE

For more information, please contact the appropriate Regional TCCA Office – Aerodromes and Air Navigation Services:

http://www.tc.gc.ca/en/regions.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:

http://www.tc.gc.ca/wcms-sgcw/civilaviation/cairs-755.htm 

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

"Original signed by D.B. Sherritt on December 15th 2009”
 

D.B. Sherritt
Director, Standards
Civil Aviation

APPENDIX A – EXAMPLE OF PUBLISHED REDUCED OR LOW VISIBILITY PROCEDURES

Operations below RVR 1200

  1. Low Visibility Procedures will be initiated whenever RVR is 1600’ and forecast to deteriorate.

  2. Low visibility procedures apply whenever the RVR is less than 1200’.

  3. Only one aircraft permitted to manoeuvre on the ground at any time. ATC tower/ground will operate a block-to-block taxi clearance. Due to these limitations the arrival rate is not expected to be greater than 6 per hour.

  4. A ‘Follow-Me’ vehicle will escort all arriving and departing aircraft movements between aprons and runway holding points.

  5. The following runway entry/exits will be closed: Alpha, Delta, Echo, Mike, November.

  6. Runway 08 not available for landing.

  7. Aircraft may depart from Runway 08 when the RVR is 1200’ or greater.

  8. Runway 08 departures: All aircraft parked at the main terminal apron will be cleared initially to taxi to Hold B2. Onward clearance will be via Taxiway B or R to enter Runway 08 via Hold B1 or R1 and backtrack for full-length departure.

  9. Aircraft parked at the north side aprons will be cleared to enter RWY 08 via T1 to backtrack for full-length departure.

  10. Runway 26 is available for CAT II / III operations when the RVR is 600’ or greater.

  11. After landing, aircraft with wingspan up to 52m (171’) parking on the main terminal apron are to vacate runway 26 at taxiway Bravo or at taxiway Romeo as directed. Aircraft are to backtrack as required and to report runway vacated when clear of B1 or R1. Aircraft with larger wingspans must vacate at Romeo.

Date modified: