NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Driving onto the airfield at an Air Force base can be a daunting process for any Airman.
There are so many things that need to be remembered to be safe. Drivers must ensure they conduct roll over foreign object debris checks at all FOD points, stay back 200 feet from taxiing aircraft, ensure they’re not crossing hold line and performing many other checks procedures.
“Flightline driving isn’t any different from regular driving,” said Airman 1st Class Floyd Jones Jr., 57th Operation Support Squadron airfield management operations coordinator. “You are required to have your state and GOV driver’s license and restricted area badge before your able to get a flightline drivers license. Then, you have to go through training and understand the procedures, such as performing FOD checks or calling up to the tower before crossing the runways. Those are things you need to know before getting your flightline drivers license, and while you’re on the flightline.”
The tasks may be daunting, but ensuring they’re done right can potentially save millions in Air Force assets and save lives.
“It’s very essential,” Jones said. “Safety procedures and precautions are important, because it only takes that one little pebble getting sucked into an Aircraft to have serious issues.”
Airmen preparing for flightline driving must take computer based training, have a current flightline access badge and Air Force form 483 flightline driving competency card. Drivers on the airfield must be aware of their airfields specific requirements also.
“For airfield driving the final say is Airfield Management,” Jones said. “Security Forces is out there for security reasons, for the aircraft and if Airfield Management needs assistance, but at the end of the day it ultimately comes down to Airfield Management flightline driving policies. If drivers are on the Airfield without a 483, then they’re will be escorted off. It doesn’t matter who it is, if you don’t have a 483, you’re not qualified to be driving on Airfield and driving. You will be escorted off the flightline.”
Construction on the airfield may provide extra concerns for the flightline drivers, aircraft and Airfield Management Airmen. Flightline drivers are responsible for informing Airfield Management for violations they see on the flightline.
“If you see FOD caused by construction, on the flightline, that’s something we need to know about, so we can respond,” Jones said. “If construction is causing FOD to get onto the runway, apron or the taxi ways and if it gets into the Aircraft it could be potentially dangerous.”
Every person on the flightline is responsible for what happens on it, Jones said.
“We must have the integrity to do things and do them right,” Jones said. “Airmen out there doing FOD checks must conduct roll over FOD checks. I see a lot of people out there doing FOD checks, but they’re not doing roll over FOD checks. CMA violations are also a concerns. It’s something that can be controlled through training, integrity and situational awareness. If we all do our part we can continue to provide a safe airfield environment.”