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FAA Updates Winter Operations Safety Guidance for Airports

With colder weather approaching quickly in many parts of the country, FAA has updated its Advisory Circular (AC) containing guidance on Airport Field Condition Assessments and Winter Operations Safety. The AC is geared largely toward airport operators, but it also contains important terminology updates with which pilots flying in winter weather conditions should familiarize themselves. For example, “Patchy” has been added as a descriptor for “when 25 percent or less of the reported surface of a taxiway, apron, or heliports is contaminated” by things such as snow, ice, or slush. Interestingly, the new term “cannot be used to describe contaminants on any runway.” Also noteworthy is section 5.7: Information Exchanged Between the Airport and Pilots, which includes guidance on runway condition reports and pilot braking action reports.

Chad Mayer

Legal Services Plan, Attorney
Chad Mayer is an in-house attorney with AOPA’s Legal Services Plan who counsels Plan members on a daily basis. He is also a Commercial Pilot, a Remote Pilot with sUAS Rating, and an Advanced/Instrument Ground Instructor. The AOPA Legal Services plan is offered as part of AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services.

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