“Edwards has been fortunate that no one has been injured or killed and we have not had any aircraft damaged over the years, but being lucky isn’t good enough, because at some point, luck will run out. It’s not a matter of if, but when something more serious may happen” said Master Sgt. William DeAngel, 412th Operations Support Squadron deputy airfield manager.
The controlled movement area is defined as any portion of the airfield requiring aircraft, vehicles and pedestrians to obtain specific Air Traffic Control approval for access. At Edwards, the CMA includes all Runways, Helipads and Rogers and Rosamond Lakebeds.
“A CMA or runway incursion occurs anytime an aircraft, vehicle, or pedestrian enters the CMA without specific approval from Air Traffic Control. The Air Force directs additional communications training for anyone working in the CMA to ensure proper phraseology is used when talking to the tower,” added DeAngel. “If CMA access is a mission requirement, and proper training is completed, the individual’s Air Force Form 483 Competency Card will be stamped.”
As for the penalties, DeAngel said airfield violations will immediately result in the individual losing their airfield driving privileges.
“The 412th OSS commander is responsible for vehicle operations on the airfield and each unit commander, director, division chief and contract manager is responsible for ensuring that the absolute minimum number of drivers are authorized to drive on the airfield to accomplish their mission,” DeAngel said. “Penalties depend on the number of offenses the individual has had at Edwards.”
The Edwards airfield driving program instruction currently lists the following penalties: First offense – 30 days suspension and re-training; Second offense – 60 days suspension and re-training; and Third offense – permanent revocation of airfield driving privileges on Edwards.
“Assumptions have no place within the Controlled Movement Area,” said DeAngel. “Either you know you have permission from the tower to be in the CMA or you don’t. If in doubt, ask. If you still have doubts, ask again.”
“This may seem excessive, but we ask everyone to consider the latter and to be safe when operating within the CMA,” added DeAngel. “We’re using this time to remind everyone to know your procedures, your location and your surroundings. Reducing the number of CMA violations and incursions is a prime focus, but more importantly – we’d like to see everyone back at work tomorrow. If we work as a team, we can all make Edwards a safe and enjoyable place to work.”
For those who are already certified to drive on the flightline, DeAngel said annual refresher training is still required for all airfield drivers prior to the expiration date listed on their AF Form 483; and should ADPMs require more information about airfield driving procedures or training, they should contact Airfield Management at (661) 277-3808.
Controlled Movement Area tips for safe flightline driving
Things to remember when operating on the airfield, and specifically, in the Controlled Movement Area:
1. Be Alert – Aircraft have the right of way over all but emergency vehicles.
2. Use proper phraseology over the radio – Do NOT use “Clear”, “Cleared”, “Clearing” or “Go Ahead” over the radio. Remember the correct phraseology for the airfield is not the same as talking on a CB Radio.
3. Know where you are at all times – CMA incursions often occur because the individual thought they were somewhere else on the airfield.
4. Ensure your credentials are up-to-date prior to proceeding on the airfield (AF Form 1199, AF Form 483, and Vehicle Passes, etc.). A large RED and WHITE sign is posted on the right side of the gate entering the airfield which identifies the proper credentials.
5. Know to whom the tower is talking to – do not assume you have been granted permission, if in doubt – ask the tower.