AD 1.2  Rescue and fire fighting services, runway surface condition assessment and reporting and snow plan

1.   Rescue and fire fighting services

1.1  At public aerodromes approved for scheduled and/or non-scheduled traffic with aircraft carrying passengers, rescue and firefighting services are established in accordance with ICAO standards and regulations for civil aviation.
1.2  For the convenience of aircraft operators the relationship of the aerodrome category for rescue and firefighting to individual aeroplane is summarized as follows:
Aerodrome CategoryAeroplane Overall LengthMaximum Fuselage Width
10 m up to but not including 9 m2 m
29 m up to but not including 12 m2 m
312 m up to but not including 18 m3 m
418 m up to but not including 24 m4 m
524 m up to but not including 28 m4 m
628 m up to but not including 39 m5 m
739 m up to but not including 49 m5 m
849 m up to but not including 61 m7 m
961 m up to but not including 76 m7 m
1076 m up to but not including 90 m8 m
1.3  Temporary changes to the aerodrome category for rescue and firefighting are promulgated by NOTAM.

2.   Runway surface condition assessment and reporting and winter service

2.1   Organization of the runway surface condition reporting and winter service
2.1.1  The clearance of winter contaminants from aerodrome surfaces and the assessment and reporting of runway surface conditions is the responsibility of the aerodrome operators, assisted as necessary by other agencies.
2.1.2  Prior to the onset of winter conditions, aerodrome operators prepare for winter service in accordance with Winter Operations Plan to effect efficient clearance and assessment procedures intended to ensure maximum availability of the aerodrome. The plan is formulated in cooperation with ATS and the aerodrome users. Arrangements are made to ensure that the plan can be implemented as soon as meteorological forecasts indicate the likelihood of surface contamination.
2.1.3  The first priority is to clear operational runways and other essential parts of the movement area that directly contribute to safety and the re-establishment of aircraft operations at a minimum acceptable level of service.
2.1.4  Winter service is established at public aerodromes in Albania. The aerodrome winter operations plan is effective from 1st December to 31st March annually.
2.2   Surveillance of movement areas
2.2.1  Personnel responsible for implementing the winter service plan should carefully monitor changing airfield conditions and report the runway surface condition in a timely manner and also whenever weather conditions or other circumstances give reason to suspect changes in the conditions of the movement areas.
2.2.2  The airport operator’s procedure for monitoring the runway should be detailed in the winter operations plan and in the dedicated standard operating procedure for assessing and reporting the runway surface conditions.
2.3   Runway surface condition reporting
2.3.1  Runway Condition Report (RCR) means a comprehensive standardised report relating to the conditions of the runway surface and their effects on the aeroplane landing and take-off performance, described by means of runway conditions code (RWYCC).
2.3.2  The runway condition report (RCR) shall include the contaminant type, coverage and depth, using Runway Surface Condition Descriptors, in accordance with the scenario which will be used in public aerodromes, and will be reported on RTF using the following descriptions:
Reporting TermRunway Surface Conditions
DRYA runway is considered dry if its surface is free of visible moisture and not contaminated within the area intended to be used.
WETThe runway surface is covered by any visible dampness or water up to and including 3 mm deep within the intended area of use.
STANDING WATERWater of depth greater than 3 mm including running water of depth greater than 3 mm.
SLIPPERY WET RUNWAYA wet runway where the surface friction characteristics of a significant portion of the runway have been determined to be degraded.
2.3.3  Reporting of the runway surface condition shall continue to reflect significant changes until the runway is no longer contaminated. When that situation occurs, aerodrome operator shall issue an RCR that states that the runway is wet or dry as appropriate.
2.3.4  When reported, the presence or otherwise of surface water on a runway will be assessed over the most significant portion of the runway.
2.3.5  Runway surface condition reports will be given sequentially for each third of the runway to be used, for example, ‘Runway surface is WET, STANDING WATER, WET’ or ‘Runway surface is WET, WET, WET’.
2.3.6  A brief description of any standing water greater than 3 mm in depth, which may affect engine performance, will be appended to a runway surface condition report. In such conditions, further information on the location, extent and depth of the standing water will be available from the aerodrome operator.
2.3.7  A brief description of any notable quantity of water outside the assessed area (e.g.: water collected at the runway edge) will be appended to a runway surface condition report.
2.4   Runway friction assessment
2.4.1  Aerodrome operators are required to conduct periodic surveys of the friction characteristics of their runway surfaces.
2.4.2  Continuous friction measuring devices may be used, together with all other available means, to support upgrade or downgrade of the RWYCC, by using friction measurements in a comparative way and not as absolute values.
2.4.3  When a runway is contaminated by water (i.e. more than 3 mm) a braking action report will not be available due to the limitations of existing friction measuring equipment.
2.5   Actions taken to maintain the usability of movement areas
2.5.1  The order in which the various parts of the movement area of an aerodrome are cleared will depend on many factors and is the subject of local consultation between the aerodrome operator and aerodrome users. However, as a general policy, clearance is carried out in accordance with the standard order of priority given below:
  1. Runway in use, associated exits and entry points for the runway in use;
  2. Designated taxiway(s);
  3. Main aprons; and
  4. ILS and PAPI areas if needed; and
  5. All other aircraft operating areas not yet cleared.
2.5.2  The runway will be cleared first. Whenever possible, the full length and width of runway is to be cleared completely. Snow banks above 30 cm should not be accumulated at the runway edges. Runway/taxiway edge lights and PAPI are to be kept clear of snow.
2.5.3  Runway access and exit point clearance will be agreed between the Operations Duty Manager Airside (ODM) and ATC according to prevailing conditions, weather forecast and runway in use.
2.5.4  The full length and width of taxiways and associated links are to be cleared to allow landing aircraft to vacate the runway safely and expeditiously. No build-up of snow should be accumulated at taxiway intersections.
2.5.5  Clearance should commence from the heads of stand equipment areas where the stands are not occupied and to the rear of any parked aircraft which are positioned and the snow should be brushed towards the rear of the stands. This should then be removed.
2.5.6  When the snow clearance operation is conducted whilst the airport is closed due to snow, the runway, taxiways and aprons must be cleared to a standard acceptable to the ODM before the airport is re-opened.
2.5.7  Whenever possible, the full length and width of runways is cleared completely. Various methods are employed and brief details of those available at individual aerodromes are given in the aerodrome entry of the AIP at AD 2.7.
2.5.8  Mechanical snow clearing equipment, blowers, sweepers, ploughs and rotary brushed form the main part of the contaminant clearance equipment used at public aerodromes. As far as practicable, clearance techniques employed prevent the build-up of snow banks. Where this is unavoidable, every effort is made to restrict snow banks to such a height and distance apart as to ensure safe manoeuvring of the most critical aircraft, in this context, normally using the aerodrome.
2.5.9  Slush and associated standing water is cleared whilst it is forming. Clearance may have to be repeated at intervals and some interruption of operations may be inevitable.
2.5.10  Salt will not be used on any airside areas due to its corrosive properties. Liquid or other chemicals used for clearing ice are non-toxic and should have no detrimental effects on aircraft, aerodrome surfaces or the friction value of aerodrome pavements.
2.6   System and means of reporting
2.6.1  The airport operator will first assess percentage of runway contamination by water for each runway third.
2.6.2  If 25 percent or less of the overall runway length and width coverage or cleared width is covered with water, no report created.
2.6.3  If the overall runway length and width coverage or cleared width is greater than 25 percent, the airport operator will assess and determine the depth of water present for each third and assign RWYCC.
2.6.4  If the water depth is not more than 3 mm, the aerodrome operator will report WET using the Runway Condition Report (RCR) through the ATS only.
2.6.5  If the water depth is more than 3 mm and no RWYCC downgrade action is required, the aerodrome operator will report STANDING WATER and RWYCC 2 via RCR.
2.6.6  If the water depth is more than 3 mm and a RWYCC downgrade action is required, the aerodrome operator will determine downgrade on all pertinent information available to airport users and report standing water and RWYCC via RCR.
2.6.7  Runway condition reports must be updated any time a change to the runway surface condition occurs.
2.6.8  Such changes to the runway surface condition must be updated and appropriately disseminated to airplane operators so they are aware of the current conditions before continuing with their operations.
2.7   The cases of runway closure
2.7.1  In cases where a postponement of clearance operations would involve a definite risk of the situation developing into a crisis, e.g. when a fall in temperature causes water or slush to become solid ice, the ODM is authorized to demand that sections of the movement areas be closed to traffic.
2.8   Distribution of information about runway surface conditions
2.8.1  Aerodrome operators will use the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM) in order to assign the RWYCC. The RCR will be delivered to ATS unit for further dissemination.
2.8.2  When a paved runway or portion thereof is slippery wet, the aerodrome operator will make such information available to the aerodrome users by originating a NOTAM that describes the location of the affected runway portion.
2.8.3  When a runway is notified as ‘may be slippery when wet’, aircraft operators may request additional information relating to that notification from the aerodrome operator. However, any performance calculations or adjustment made as a result of this information is the responsibility of the aircraft operator.
2.8.4  Whenever the braking action experienced during landing is less good than indicated by the RWYCC issued for a runway, pilots shall provide a special air-report (AIREP) to ATC for a possible re-assessment of the runway surface conditions by the aerodrome operator.