AVIATIONIntroductionSharing facilities with the local airport fire and rescue service requires analysis of the standard and practices of both in aviation-based fire and rescue service and the local fire and rescue authority. It can be made possible through examination of aerodrome operation and requirements contained in various relevant CAA documents such as CAP 168, 699, 748 and other publications related to fire safety in critical environment like an aerodrome. These include the level of protection provided in aerodrome environment, difference and commonalities between services, effectiveness and variation in training and development, performance assessment, and other practices.
The following sections discusses fire and rescue in aerodrome setting, ICAO provisions, CAA procedures and licensing requirements, training and development, assessment and performance, and the importance of fuel management in aviation-based fire and rescue. Assessment of International Standards & Recommended Practices used by AFRSAerodromeThe organization responsible for the execution and monitoring of ICAO provisions and procedures is the CAA or the Civil Aviation Authority. As a regulatory body and public service enterprise, CCA is responsible for national air traffic services, air transport licensing, air safety, ownership and operation of aerodromes (Gubbins, 2003, p. 154).
Aerodrome is an area where aircraft flight operations are taking place. The ICAO definition of aerodrome suggest that it is a defined area not necessarily on land but even water that is intended to be used as arrival, departure, and surface movement of aircraft (COSCAP, 1999, p. 10). Aerodrome OperationOperational procedures in aerodrome include routine inspection of the area such lighting, apron, runways, and taxiways. Sweeping of runways, taxiways, and aprons. Monitoring and dissemination of meteorological information such as RVR or Runway Visual Range, visibility, and weather forecasting.
Conduct LVPs or Low Visibility Procedures whenever necessary, regular assessment of runway surface friction conditions, monitoring and recording aircraft movements, control of activities that may affect aircraft safety such as snow, wildlife hazards, removal of disabled aircraft, monitoring and controlling third party activities (CAA, 2011, p. 5). Aerodrome LicensingThere are two different types of aerodrome in the United Kingdom – licensed and unlicensed. A licensed aerodrome is one that met the requirements of Air Navigation Order Article 211, and where flights are for public transport or any flight where passengers are carried for a fare (CAA, 2010a, p.1).
Articles 211 and 212 of Air Navigation Order govern licensing of aerodrome in the UK. In Article 211 of ANO, license may be given to an aerodrome if CCA found its equipment, organization, staffing, maintenance, and competence is satisfactory in terms of aerodrome and airspace security. Moreover, the applicant must demonstrate that the aerodrome is safe for aircraft use, its safety management is in place and reliable, and the manual submitted to CAA is complete or contain all information and instructions to enable operating staff to do their job effectively.
However, CAA reserve the right to provisionally suspend, the approval of license if it feels that it needs to do further inquiry as stated in Article 228 (ANO, 2009, p. 96 & 105). If granted, the license holder must on request provide the terms of license to any person, must follow all the condition of the license regardless of circumstances, take all reasonable steps to secure the aerodrome and the airspace, and notify CAA of any changes in the manual before it is implemented (ANO, 2009, p. 97).