Airfield InspectionEdit

Minimum requirement: one per day. Exception: An airfield check can be conducted in lieu of an inspection when AM is published closed and is called in from telephone standby to reopen the runway in support of in-flight/ground emergency or to launch/recover aircraft on an unscheduled mission.

A2.1.1. Each unit must use a MAJCOM or locally developed Airfield Inspection Checklist and Diagram or electronic equivalents to accomplish airfield inspections. (See Figure A2.1. for an example Airfield Inspection Checklist)

A2.1.2. Document and report all discrepancies and/or hazards identified during an airfield inspection to the appropriate agency for correction.

A2.1.3. Send NOTAMs for airfield discrepancies and/or hazards, as required.

A2.1.4. Maintain a file copy of the completed airfield inspection checklist and diagram or electronic equivalents in accordance with Air Force RDS, Table 33-46, Rule 31.00.

A2.1.5. All personnel performing an airfield inspection must be trained and certified in their training record. Additionally, individuals must have completed the Airfield Inspection and Maintenance, Airfield Criteria and Wildlife Hazard Management CBTs and have an operational understanding of the following:

A2.1.5.1. Obstacle clearance criteria and airfield waiver program. Must know distance requirements for obstacles (fixed/mobile) in relation to imaginary surfaces, runways, taxiways and parking aprons. (Reference UFC 3-260-01)

A2.1.5.2. Standards for airfield signs and lighting systems. (Reference UFC 3-535-01)

A2.1.5.3. Standards for Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems. (Reference AFI 13-216)

A2.1.5.4. Aircraft restrictions (e.g., weight bearing, engine-run, wing-tip, taxi, etc.) published in FLIP, AOI and Airfield Pavement Report. (Reference AFI 32-1041, AFI 11-218 and AOI)

A2.1.5.5. Snow and ice control removal requirements to include priorities, berm heights and NAVAIDs.

A2.1.5.6. Bird/Wildlife hazard management to include bird watch conditions, attractants, passive/ active control measures, local species identification and surveys. (Reference AFI 91-202, AFPAM 91-212)

A2.1.5.7. Standards for airfield markings. (Reference ETL 04-2, AFI 32-1042)

A2.1.5.8. Standards for airfield pavement conditions, distresses and corrective actions. (ETL 02-19, ETL 04-9)

A2.1.5.9. Standards for aircraft arresting systems. (AFI 32-1043, AC 150/5220-9)

A2.1.5.10. Airfield construction safety guidelines. (UFC 3-260-01, Attachment 15)

A2.1.6. Airfield inspections are conducted by the AFM, DAFM, NAMO, NAMT, AMOS or civilian equivalents to ensure a safe operational environment (e.g., airfield markings, signs, lighting, obstacle clearances, etc.) for aircraft operations. As a minimum, inspect the following items:

A2.1.6.1. Obstacles and Obstructions.

A2. Inspect airfield for obstacles and obstructions that violate airfield imaginary surface criteria, such as construction activities (e.g., cranes, drilling rigs, etc.), tree growth, dirt/ snow piles, sandbag bunkers.

A2. Inspect runway, taxiway and apron lateral clearance areas for violations (fixed or mobile).

A2.1.6.2. Construction Areas.

A2. Inspect construction areas to ensure that a high level of safety is maintained.

A2. Construction Barricades. Ensure construction barricades are properly positioned to define the limits of construction and hazardous areas and, if barricades are lighted, check to ensure lights are working properly and are positioned correctly.

A2. Stockpiled Materials. Ensure stockpiled material and construction materials are properly stored to keep them from being moved by wind, jet blast, or prop wash.

A2. Inspect construction areas for confusing or missing signs, markings or lighting that could potentially confuse or mislead pilots.

A2. Equipment Parking. Determine if construction equipment (such as bulldozers, cranes, etc.) are marked and lighted and parked in designated areas.

A2. FOD Debris. Ensure that debris and foreign objects are continuously being picked up around construction areas.

A2.1.6.3. Airfield Markings.

A2. Inspect airfield markings for peeling, chipping, fading and obscurity due to rubber buildup.

A2. Ensure markings are properly sited and provide retro-reflective characteristics during hours of darkness (reflect light back to the source).

A2. When markings are obscured/covered with rubber deposits, snow, etc., coordinate with Standardization and Evaluation, SE, AOF/CC and OG/CC to determine if markings are no longer adequate to support instrument procedures. Provide results to TERPS Specialist and send a NOTAM.

A2.1.6.4. Airfield Signs.

A2. Inspect airfield signs for correct background and legend colors, easy to read, not obscured by vegetation, dirt or snow, frangible mounted and illuminated if required for night operations.

A2. Send a NOTAM when a mandatory sign (e.g., Runway Hold Sign, Instrument Hold Sign, etc.) has a discrepancy such as missing, incorrect legend, improperly sited or not illuminated when required for night operations.

A2.1.6.5. Airfield Lighting.

A2. Inspect airfield lighting systems to ensure they are frangible mounted and frangible devices are not more than 3 inches above the finished surface of the foundation. Drop-off at edge of foundations are to be flush with grade, but are allowed to erode to not more than a 3 inch drop-off before maintenance action is required.

A2. Ensure lighting systems are not obscured.

A2. Check the operation of airfield lighting systems, to include the different intensity levels (Steps 1-5), as applicable.

A2. Check the operation of lighting systems that protect Instrument Critical Areas and Traffic Control Light Systems at the intersection of runways and taxiways.

A2.1.6.6. Pavement Areas.

A2. Inspect pavement areas for conditions that could cause ponding, obscure markings, attract wildlife or otherwise impair safe aircraft operations (e.g., scaling, spalling, cracks, holes, bumps, low spots, rubber deposits, vegetation growth, etc.).

A2. Inspect pavement areas for loose aggregate or other foreign objects and contaminants. Ensure foreign objects and contaminants are removed promptly.

A2. The Asphalt Surfaced Airfields Pavement Condition Index Manual can be used to determine the severity of pavement conditions and priority for repair.

A2.1.6.7. Aircraft Arresting Systems.

A2. Inspect aircraft arresting systems for obvious conditions that could compromise the system’s operation (e.g., noticeably loose cable, improper doughnut spacing, broken rope ties, pavement erosion beneath the cable (effective pendant height), etc.). If an unsafe condition exists, notify CE or Fire Department.

A2. Ensure system is sited and installed according to AFI 32-1043 or AC 150/5220-9.

A2.1.7. Airfield Inspection Techniques. A varied inspection pattern is preferred to avoid complacency and the possibility of missing items that are in need of correction. When conducting an inspection on a runway and time only permits one pass on the runway, individuals should drive towards the direction of landing aircraft to see approaching aircraft and improve visibility of vehicle to pilots. However, it is highly recommended for runway inspection be done in both directions.[1]


  1. AFI13-213