FAA Issues Alert on Nighttime Ground Ops
The FAA last week issued Safety Alert for Operators 10008 to emphasize the importance of developing procedures for ground operations at night at non-towered airports or towered airports after the tower has closed. Alarmingly, the FAA said there has recently been an increase of incidents involving aircraft operating–taxi, takeoff and landing–at night where crews have failed to activate the airport pilot-controlled lighting system. “The rising trend of these incidents indicates manuals and training programs should be reviewed for clarity in this area,” the agency noted. Operators should ensure that crews demonstrate knowledge and proficiency during training and checkrides in the use of the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) and pilot-controlled lighting systems. According to the FAA, the training should include instructions on activating the variable intensity capabilities of pilot-controlled lighting systems, as well as proper use of the CTAF. In addition, the FAA said operators should ensure that night ground operations are conducted only on lighted airfields.