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Airport Driver Training
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Before beginning this training course, please review the Airfield Access Policy (Click Here) and obtain a training guide from the Airport Administration Office, 150 Airport Ave. If applicable, a non-refundable training fee of $35 (Fee Schedule) will be collected when your guide is issued. Payment may be made with a check or money order payable to the City of Venice. If you have any questions about whether the training fee applies to you, please contact us at (941) 486-2711 and we will be happy to assist you.

Airfield access badges are issued at the Airport Administration Office during regular business hours:

Monday – Friday (except holidays)
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

To make an appointment, please call (941) 486-2711 or e-mail Airport@flyvnc.com with the desired date and time. Your message should include your name and phone number so that we can call to confirm your appointment. Walk-ins and unconfirmed appointments will be assisted whenever possible, but cannot be guaranteed.

 

A Message to Vehicle Operators

 

This online training course was prepared to teach you about the unique problems and safety requirements of working and driving a vehicle on an airport.  It is meant to be a companion to the FAA guide titled Airport Ground Vehicle Operations.  Please study the guide and keep it for reference and future review as a refresher.  If you have not yet obtained your training guide from the Airport Administration Office, please contact (941) 486-2711 or Airport@flyvnc.com.

If you have never driven on an airport before, the first few times can be confusing. This course explains some of the things you will see, how things work and some of the rules that you will have to follow when driving on the airfield. If you have previous experience with airfield driving, this training program may teach you some things that you didn’t know or remind you of some things that you may have forgotten.

Some of the topics that will be covered are:

 

  • Airport Familiarization
  • Airport Rules and Regulations
  • Movement Area Familiarization

 

Compliance

All persons operating vehicles on the airfield must comply at all times with the Airfield Access Policy for Venice Municipal Airport.  In accordance with this policy, those individuals requiring driver training must successfully complete this course before an airfield access badge will be issued.

Additionally, please remember:

  • No person shall operate a ground vehicle which is so constructed, equipped or loaded, or is in physical or mechanical condition as to endanger persons or property.
  • Vehicles operating in the Airport Operations Area (AOA) shall be expressly authorized to do so by airport management.
  • All vehicles shall yield the right-of-way to aircraft, pedestrians, emergency vehicles and aircraft in tow.
  • No vehicle may be parked as to block:
    • Fence openings or emergency entrances to the AOA
    • Emergency vehicles or equipment
    • Fire hydrants or lanes
    • Any paved access way, roadway or vehicular traffic lane
  • Vehicles operating on the Airport shall be equipped with two (2) headlights and two (2) or more red taillights, which shall be lighted during operations between sunset and sunrise.

 

Failure to comply with the Airfield Access Policy for Venice Municipal Airport may result in the permanent revocation of access privileges.

 

Airport management will make available to the FAA for inspection, upon request, any records of accidents or incidents in the movement area involving any aircraft and/or ground vehicles.

Definitions

 

 

Airport

An area of land or water that is used, or intended to be used for the landing and taking off of aircraft and, if applicable, includes its buildings and facilities.

Airport Operations Area (AOA)

The portion of an airport used for the landing, takeoff, ground-maneuvering and parking of an aircraft.

Apron or Ramp

The area of an airport designated for aircraft parking for the purpose of deplaning and enplaning passengers or cargo.

Ground Vehicle

Vehicles and equipment having access to the AOA, including: airport service equipment, ground equipment vehicles, aircraft fire and rescue vehicles and all other emergency and City of Venice vehicles necessary for the safe and secure operation of the airport.

Movement Area

Runways, taxiways and associated safety areas of an airport which are used for taxiing, hover taxiing, air taxiing and takeoff and landing of aircraft, exclusive of loading ramps and aircraft parking.

Non-Movement Area

The portion of the AOA where both aircraft and vehicle traffic is allowed.

Runway

A defined, rectangular area (on a land airport), which has been prepared for the landing and takeoff of aircraft along its length.  Runways are normally numbered in relation to their magnetic direction, rounded off to the nearest 0.10 degree.  The runways and Venice Municipal Airport (VNC) are 4/22 and 13/31.

Runway Safety Area

An area 400 feet in width, the center portion of which is the usable runway and which extends 1,000 feet beyond the end of the runway pavement.

Hold Lines

This is the airport version of a stop sign.  They are depicted by two continuous and two dashed yellow lines, which are spaced 12 inches apart and which are perpendicular to the taxiway centerline.  They may also consist of one or more signs at the edge of the taxiway.

Taxiway

The portion of the movement area used for surface-maneuvering of aircraft to transition between aircraft parking areas and the runways on the AOA.

Taxiway Safety Area

An area 150 feet wide, the center of which is the usable taxiway.

Runway/Taxiway Incursion

The unauthorized entry onto a runway or taxiway by an aircraft, vehicle or person.  Airport management controls runway and taxiway vehicle access.

 


Ground Vehicles

Access

 

Access to the movement areas and safety areas shall be limited to those ground vehicles necessary for airport operations. No ground vehicle may operate in movement areas without express authorization from airport management. In the event that a vehicle is granted authorization, it must meet the following standards before it may operate:

 

  • Be equipped with a flashing/rotating amber beacon which is clearly visible and functional on the top of the vehicle
  • Have two-way radio communication with UNICOM

 

If a vehicle does not meet the standards listed above, then the vehicle must have an authorized escort that does meet the standards.

It is important to note that the presence of two-way radios and flashing beacons does not give a vehicle license to operate in any movement area unless express authorization is granted.

Vehicle Operations

Airport tenant vehicles may not enter any runway, taxiway or safety area at any time, nor operate in any areas not expressly authorized in accordance with the Airfield Access Policy. In addition, when it is permitted, driving on ramps and aprons must be kept to an absolute minimum.

All authorized vehicles operating on the runways, excluding aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment and airport operations, shall, when possible, do so in a direction opposite to aircraft traffic flow.  When crossing a runway, vehicle operators should do so at an end whenever possible.

Please be aware that persons operating vehicles on movement areas without authorization shall be subject to prosecution of public trespass and may have their airfield access privileges revoked.

In addition, please remember that driving on the airfield is a privilege that may be revoked for failure to comply with the Airfield Access Policy or Airport Rules and Regulations.

Safety is the First Priority!

Operating a vehicle on an airfield is different from any other place that you have ever driven. But, just like when operating on a standard roadway, each driver must make safety the first priority. One careless mistake could result in the injury or death of yourself or others. Therefore, it is up to every one of us to make sure that we do everything we can to make the airport as safe as possible.

One way to do that is to know how the airport operates and the types of problems and safety hazards that may exist. As you continue with this course, you will learn about these things and your responsibilities as a vehicle operator.

Airport Familiarization

Venice Municipal Airport is located on approximately 834 acres three miles south of downtown Venice.  The facility is owned and operated by the City of Venice and has the three-letter airport designation code of “VNC.”

VNC has two runways. The primary runway, 13/31, is 5000 feet long.  Runway 13 has a displaced threshold with an EMAS bed at the departure end of the runway. The secondary runway, 5/23, is 5,000 feet long. In addition, there are six main taxiways: A, B, C, D, E and F.

Taxiways A is parallel to the ramp on the north side of the airport. The east end of Taxiway A gives access to Runway 23.  The west end of Taxiway A provides access to Runway 13.

Taxiway B is parallel to the midfield ramp between Runway 13 and Runway 23, south of the T-Hangar area.   Taxiway B provides for exit from Runway 5 and Runway 31.

Taxiway C runs north and south from the ramp along the east side of the t-hangar area and terminates at the midfield wind tee.

From the wind tee, Taxiway D crosses Runway 5/23 and runs parallel to Runway 31, to which it gives access.

Taxiway E begins at the wind tee, crosses Runway 13/31 and runs parallel to Runway 5, to which it gives access.

Taxiway F begins near the southern end of Taxiway D, at the threshold of Runway 31 and provides access to Runway 31.

 

Non-Towered Airport

Venice Municipal Airport is non-towered and, therefore, considered “pilot-controlled.”  Consequently, if a vehicle must enter a runway or taxiway, permission must be granted in advance by airport management. If permission is obtained to enter these areas, a radio tuned to the airport’s common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), usually called UNICOM, must be on to monitor the air traffic while in the vicinity.

When approaching runways or taxiways, SLOW DOWN, look both ways and look UP for aircraft that are landing, taking off or are in the traffic pattern. Vehicles must always yield the right-of-way to taxiing aircraft and give them plenty of room. If an aircraft is on the same taxiway as you and headed in your direction, move your vehicle out of the way, being careful not to hit any taxiway edge lights.

If an aircraft is about to land on a runway that you have permission to cross, stop and yield to the aircraft until it has landed and taxied clear of the runway before proceeding.

Aircraft at non-towered airports frequently make “touch-and-go” landings.  This means that immediately after landing, full power is applied and the aircraft takes off again. It is, therefore, very important to make sure, before crossing a runway, that any aircraft have exited the runway or have gone past you.

Extra vigilance is key at non-towered airports since aircraft so not have to communicate or announce their position in the pattern or on the surface.  In fact, some aircraft do not have radios. So, be very careful not to be lulled into complacency due to the fact that the airport sometimes does not seem very busy – this may not always be the case!

Movement Areas

The movement areas are the portions of the Airport Operations Area (AOA) for which express authorization is required from airport management for ground vehicle operations.  Movement areas include:

 

  • Runways
  • Taxiways
  • Safety areas associated with runways and taxiways
Safety Area Operations

 

Ground vehicles having the need to operate within the safety areas shall obtain proper authorization in accordance with the City of Venice’s Airfield Access Policy.

Operators of ground vehicles within a safety area shall, at all times, operate the vehicle’s rotating beacon and monitor the UNICOM frequency for air traffic.

 

What is a Runway Incursion?

 

A runway incursion is any occurrence at an airport that involves an aircraft, vehicle, person or object on the ground that creates a collision hazard or results in interference with an aircraft taking off, landing or intending to land or takeoff.

Safeguard Against Incursions

 

  • Be aware of problem locations for aircraft, vehicles and pedestrians. This includes familiarizing yourself with runway/taxiway geometry and complex intersections.
  • Use standard radio verbiage and airport operating procedures to help ensure effective airfield communications.

 

A Vehicle/Pedestrian Deviation (VPD) is a type of runway incursion that occurs when a vehicle operator or pedestrian enters the movement area without approval.

Another type or runway incursion, an Operational Deviation (OD,) can occur when an aircraft, vehicle, equipment or person enters the active landing area without coordination.

 

Other Important Information

 

Foreign Object Debris (FOD)

Trash or rocks sucked into a jet engine can shred parts of it in seconds.  A rock caught by a propeller can damage the propeller, as well as become a deadly projectile. In order to help avoid these types of incidents, it is imperative that we all work to make the airport a safer place by putting all trash in a covered container that will not be blown over and by picking up any trash, rocks or other debris near aircraft movement areas. For the same reason, avoid tracking mud and rocks onto paved surfaces and, when applicable, always drive your vehicle on the right side of taxiways and along the fence (when on the apron) to reduce the chances of creating FOD.

Reporting Accidents

If you are involved in an accident on the airport, report it immediately to airport management. If a collision occurrs between a ground vehicle and an aircraft, it is critical that the aircraft not be flown until the damage can be inspected and repaired.

Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF)

Just as when you are on a regular roadway, if you see an emergency vehicle on the airport with its lights on, pull out of the way, stop and do not proceed until it is clear of you.

Security

Depending on the type of airport where you drive on, the security system may be as simple as a fence or it may include items as complicated as computer-controlled automatic gates with television screen monitors. At Venice Municipal Airport, the airport staff and users are responsible for security. The Venice Police Department is called upon for assistance as needed.

As a responsible badge holder, if you see a gate left open or malfunctioning, you should report it immediately to airport staff or the Venice Police Department.

Excepting unique situations, badge holders may only gain entry to the airfield via the gate specifically authorized to them under the Airfield Access Policy.

When entering or exiting through a gate, ground vehicle operators must remain at the gate until it has fully closed. Tailgating is not permitted. If another vehicle follows you through a gate, record the license plate number and immediately report the vehicle to airport staff with as complete a description as possible.

An airport ID badge cannot be passed between individuals for any reason. If a badge is determined to have been used by an individual other than the one it was issued to, the individuals involved may have their airfield access privileges permanently revoked, in accordance with the Airfield Access Policy.

Nighttime Driving – It Looks So Different!

If you haven’t yet seen the airport at night, the first time may be surprising. If the runways and taxiways are not lit, the airport may look like a big black emptiness. If the runway and taxiway lights are illuminated, the airport may look like a confusing array or blue, white, red and green lights.

When driving on an airfield at night, it is easy to get lost or confused.  Since your vision changes at night, the lights may seem to blur together. Therefore, if you foresee a need to drive at night, it is a good idea to first drive in authorized areas during the daylight in order to orient yourself to the airport.

In addition, always allow yourself a little extra time to get wherever you are going and drive slower than you normally would when operating a vehicle on the airport at night. Watch for signs and markings like those found in the FAA training guide. If, at any time, you are not absolutely sure where you are, stop in a safe area and ask someone.

Finally, be sure to use your headlights on low-beam when operating a ground vehicle on the airport at night. This will help prevent a loss of night vision by pilots who may be navigating aircraft in the area.

Bad Weather Driving – When It’s Raining or Just Plain Lousy Outside

Driving rains and fog can affect the operation of an airport. Here are a few precautions to take when driving in bad weather:

 

  • Give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going.
  • Drive slower than you normally would.
  • If your vehicle has a rotating beacon, use it (even when off of the airfield) – it helps others to see you.
  • Test the brakes, headlights and windshield wipers on the vehicle before entering the airfield
Ground Vehicle Operating Tips
  • Know and obey all airport rules and regulations.
  • Remember, a pilot’s view of ground areas immediately in front of and adjacent to the side of the aircraft is limited. The areas behind the wings are blind spots. Therefore, it is important that you approach an aircraft from a direction that will enable the pilot to see you.
  • Always dim or lower the beams of vehicle headlights when approaching oncoming aircraft or motor vehicles.
  • Taxiing aircraft or aircraft in tow have the right of way.
  • Smoking is prohibited on the apron, including smoking inside of vehicles.
  • Immediately report all fuel spills to the Airport Administration Office at (941) 486-2711 during office hours, or at any other time, to the Venice Police Department at (941) 486-2444.
  • Speed Limit: 10 MHP on the roadway from Gate 6 to the t-hangar area.
  • Speed Limit: 5 MHP on all aprons.
  • Speed Limit: 5 MHP in the vicinity of any aircraft.
  • Never, without notification to and authorization from airport management, enter an aircraft movement area.
Jet Blast and Prop Wash

 

An operating rotating beacon on an aircraft indicates that the engines are running or are about to be started. When positioned behind an aircraft, even if it is not running, you should always be aware that the current situation may change and that there is the potential for jet blast or prop wash if the engines start.

In addition, an aircraft just starting to move will generate considerably more jet blast or prop wash than one that is idling. Consequently, an object that may be in a safe position for idle thrust may be subject to a mishap when breakaway thrust is applied.

Finally, be aware of any aircraft that may turn or use reverse thrust to back up.

CAUTION: When an engine is running, a propeller may be invisible to the naked eye.

 

Reference Material

  • Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular 150/5210-20, Ground Vehicle Operations on Airports
  • Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular 150/5210-5B, Painting, Marking, and Lighting of Vehicles Used on an Airport

Before You Begin

In order to successfully complete this training program, at least seven questions must be answered correctly. If you do not pass the test, you may take it again in two weeks at no additional charge. If more than two attempts are necessary to pass the test, an additional $35 training fee must be paid in advance for subsequent attempts. Any tests that are submitted outside of the permitted timeframes and without the appropriate training fee being paid will not be scored and will not be taken into consideration for airfield access eligibility. If you have any questions about the training program or taking the test, please contact the Airport Administration Office at (941) 486-2711.