FAA’s new airport bulletin 14-02 encourages airport operators to review their driver’s training programs in light of several accidents in non-movement areas involving food service trucks, airplane tugs and baggage tow vehicles. These accidents have resulted in both fatalities and significant damage to aircraft.
In the April 2 bulletin, the agency recommends operators conduct a comprehensive review of the airport driver’s training program, as well as any assigned tenant driver’s training programs for vehicle operations in and around the ramp or gate areas. The agency wants operators to emphasize that only vehicles needed to conduct airport/air carrier operations are authorized on the ramp.
FAA wants airport managers to consider implementing applicable items from the Airport Cooperative Research Program’s (ACRP’s) Synthesis 29, ramp safety practices. Another recommendation focuses on reviewing existing letters of agreement (LOA) or memorandums of understanding (MOU) that involve airport tenant vehicles and operators to further ensure that only essential vehicles have access to the ramp area. Additionally, airport personnel should consider random spot checks of vehicles to heighten awareness of safe driving practices. Finally, operators should emphasize that drivers use one or more spotters when backing vehicles or equipment toward an airplane, especially when operating in tight spaces on the ramp.