When the control tower is closed

When the control tower is closed, the airport is referred to as non-towered. If you need access to the taxiways or runways be required for operational needs, a radio must be tuned to the airport’s common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF)121.000, monitor the air traffic and announce movement on the airfield.

Below are some best practices for operating on an airport when the tower is closed:

  • When you approach the runways and taxiways, STOP, LOOK both ways, and LISTEN for aircraft that are landing or taking off. Vehicle windows should be open to do this properly.
  • Alert others when you are using a taxiway or runway by always making an announcement on the radio before you enter. Be specific with your location and intentions.
  • Always yield the right-of-way to taxiing aircraft and give them plenty of room. If an aircraft is headed toward you on the same taxiway, move out of the aircraft’s way.
  • Always carry a radio tuned to the airport’s Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) 121.000.
  • If an aircraft is about to land on a runway that you need to cross, stop well clear of the runway. Continue to yield to the aircraft until it has landed and taxied off the runway.
  • Be aware that some aircraft at non-towered airports may not be equipped with radios.
  • Before you cross a runway, ensure that no potentially conflicting aircraft are taxiing, landing or taking off. Be aware of aircraft at non-towered airports that frequently make touch-and-go landings (immediately after landing, full power is applied and the aircraft takes off again).
  • Be sure to turn it on the rotating beacon anytime you are on the airport surface. Turn on headlights as well, being careful not to blind any pilots in the area.

VEHICLE OPERATIONS – MOVEMENT AREA

The movement area are those portions of the Air Operations Area (AOA) for which authorization is required from Airport Management to travel on. Movement areas include:

  • Runways
  • All Taxiways
  • All safety area associated with the runways and taxiways

Vehicles operating on the movement areas shall be in continuous two-way radio communication with ground control and CTAF and have an operating flashing amber beacon or under escort by a properly authorized and equipped airport ground vehicle.

The installation of two-way radios and flashing beacons shall not be construed as a license to operate any vehicle on the movement area without authorization.

SAFETY AREA OPERATIONS

Ground vehicles having the need to operate within the safety areas, shall obtain proper authorization.

Operators of ground vehicles within the safety area shall leave the vehicles flashing beacon on and monitor the active frequency.

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