FAA Issues CertAlert – Increases in GSE & Vehicles Hitting and Damaging Aircraft

Yesterday the FAA Airports Office issues a National Part 139 CertAlert titled; Increase in the Numbers of Vehicles and/or Equipment Inadvertently Hitting and Damaging Airplanes in the Ramp/Gate Areas. FAA CertAlerts are a publication designed to “ provid[e] additional guidance on Part 139 Airport Certification and related issues to FAA inspectors and staff” but are also available to airports, industry stakeholders and the public in the interest of increasing safety.

In this CertAlert FAA notes that:

 “There have been several recent accidents in the non-movement area of airports involving vehicles such as food service trucks, airplane tugs, baggage tow vehicles and their carts, and other wheeled vehicle and equipment used to service aircraft. These accidents resulted in people being killed or injured, and/or damaged aircraft.”

Some of FAA’s recommendations include:

a. Conduct a comprehensive review of the Airport Driver’s Training Program and any assigned tenant driver’s training programs for vehicle operations in and around the ramp or gate areas. Continue to emphasize that only those vehicles and vehicle operators necessary to conduct airport/air carrier operations are authorized on the ramp areas.

b. Review, and consider implementing as appropriate, applicable items from the Airport Cooperative Research Program’s (ACRP’s) Synthesis 29, Ramp Safety Practices. You can access the report at http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/166314.aspx.

c. Review any existing Letters of Agreement or Memorandums of Understanding involving vehicles and vehicle operators that the airport has with airport tenants, Fixed Base Operators, and airport contracted services. Ensure only essential vehicles have access to the ramp area and operators are appropriately trained.

d. If practical, reduce the number of non-essential or infrequent vehicle operators to lessen the exposure and risk for incidents on the ramp. For example, an airport may wish to review and limit a tenant’s operational area to further reduce potential accidents in the ramp environment.

e. Implement and/or increase the periodic vehicle spot checks by airport operations staff or associated airport law enforcement officers to raise awareness of safe vehicle operations on the ramp area.

The full CertAlert can be downloaded here

The FAA CertAlert webpage is located at:


Visit or return to NATA website: http://www.nata.aero   

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