Snow and ice are two of the most serious contaminants for airport runways. Airports have strict processes for how they assess the safety of their runways when these contaminants are present. However, their carefully planned processes will need to change soon.
In the latest news from the FAA, all Part 139 certified airports must revise their Snow and Ice Control Plan (SICP). This change in FAA policy affects airports that conduct snow operations. The deadline for the SICP revisions is here. The FAA requested all submissions by September 1, 2016. The revised SICPs are expected to be put in effect October 1, 2016.
AC 150/5200-30D, released by the FAA on July 29, 2016, explains the proposed changes that airport operators will have to make in their SICP. Luckily for airports, many of the proposed changes are not major. The biggest change is the addition of RCAM.
RCAM, or Runway Condition Assessment Matrix, is, “the method by which an airport operator reports a runway surface assessment when contaminants are present.” RCAM is designed to be a simpler method of reporting runway conditions. For example, the assessment of the slipperiness of the runway are no longer reported in Mu measurements. In RCAM, the observed contaminants on the runway are assigned numeric values, called Runway Condition Codes (RwyCC). These codes are then reported to pilots.
With the winter snowfall coming up soon and the deadline for new SICP implementation having passed, Part 139 certified airports will have to adjust quickly to meet the new guidelines.
One option available to airports for the management of these new requirements is the use of software. With software, the data reported by airport operators will be intuitively managed to meet the new requirements. Additionally, software can include the capability to analyze and provide insight into past trends. Furthermore, airports can keep their carefully planned processes of assessment. Software can intelligently replicate each airport’s specific process. Airports can find software that operates in this manner beneficial, especially in light of these new regulatory requirements.
To view AC 150/5200-30D: