How safe is your aerodrome?
The CAA has published an information leaflet, CAP 1069 Preventing runway incursions at small aerodromes, which contains safety advice for GA airfield operators, staff, pilots and visitors.
Addressing the latter, it notes that, ‘People enjoy visiting aerodromes, particularly in the summer months, but may be unaware of the hidden dangers. Ensure the aerodrome boundary is secure, and access is controlled. Consider signage at the boundary of a licensed aerodrome clearly indicating there is no access without permission. Where there is access, in particular public rights of way, provide signage that clearly warns of the dangers such as approaching aircraft which may be difficult to see if there is a ground slope, obstacles, or silent aircraft practising glide approaches. Remind pilots that their passengers should be escorted and supervised at all times whilst on the aerodrome.’
The CAA advises that for vehicular traffic ‘runway crossings should be limited, or better still, prevented’ by providing routes around runways, alternative access to the aerodrome, or physical barriers with good signage around and on the aerodrome to prevent vehicles straying onto runways and taxiways.
For aircraft movements the Authority urges operators to ‘consider your aerodrome from the perspective of an unfamiliar visiting or student pilot by ensuring all runway holding positions are clear in the approaching directions, noting that different aircraft types present different height and viewing perspectives. Implement clear, simple taxiway layouts and junctions of 90° shown by grass cut heights to avoid confusion. Limit runway access and the width of any access points to reduce the possibility of pilots accidentally entering a runway.’
There is much more sensible advice contained in the leaflet, the full text of which is available online as a PDF download at caa.co.uk (see the top of the right-hand column for a link).