Federal Aviation Administration revisits aircraft towing safety

posted on 22nd August 2023 by William Hallowell
Federal Aviation Administration revisits aircraft towing safety

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory circular on towbar and towbarless movement of aircraft for the first time since 2009.

It comes after the citation of several recently reported incidents of near incursions and mishaps involving tug operations during aircraft movement.

According to Aviation International News, the agency said: “Air traffic control (ATC) specialists have reported that it is very difficult to identify a super tug towing an unpowered aircraft at night because the aircraft being towed is not properly illuminated with any lights.”

As a result, it noted that no person should park or move an aircraft in, or in dangerous proximity to, a night flight operations area of an airport unless the aircraft or the area is clearly lit.

The circular states that those that are qualified to perform towing operations at an airport should submit documents outlining their towing operations to the responsible FAA Flight Standards District Office or Certificate Management Office and to respective airport management for acceptance and approval, Aviation International News also reported.

That document should describe at a minimum the organisation’s safety instructions, operating procedures – including the differences between day and night-time operations – initial and recurrent training, radio communication and towing procedures checklist.

An advisory circular is a type of publication offered by the FAA to provide guidance for compliance with airworthiness regulations, pilot certification, operational standards, training standards and any other rules within the 14 CFR Aeronautics and Space Title.

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