June 5, 2019
The FAA is seeking to increase awareness of the Airport Construction Advisory Council (ACAC) Graphical Airport Construction Notice Diagrams, which make it easier for pilots to visualize where airport construction is occurring to help mitigate potential safety hazards.
The diagrams use easy-to-read maps to highlight construction sites and help pilots visualize the runways and taxiways have restrictions or should be avoided. Previously, such information was available only in hard-to-visualize text format. Diagrams for about 65 airports are currently posted on the FAA’s website, and are updated regularly as construction NOTAMs are posted. View the FAA’s Airport Construction Notices page.
The FAA formed the ACAC, of which NBAA is a member, in 2010 to promote safe operations during airport construction, to improve coordination and to share best practices. An early ACAC effort standardized airport construction signage, paving the way for airports to deploy orange construction signs, similar to those used at road construction sites, to alert pilots in a more intuitive way.
Dubbed “orange is the new black and yellow,” the signage, markings and radio phraseology communicating changes and shortened runway distances greatly improve safety and have prevented several potential accidents. Major foreign airports on numerous continents have followed suit in adopting these best practices.
“Although this diagram product has been available for a few years now, most pilots are still not aware of it. We are getting the word out about this important tool,” explained ACAC co-Chair Dave Siewert, air traffic manager at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) air traffic control tower. “Pilots who use our diagrams will improve their situational awareness.”
ForeFlight, creator of the widely used ForeFlight Mobile Integrated Flight App, now includes the Airport Construction Notice Diagrams in the company’s app, greatly improving their utility and accessibility during flight planning on the ground as well as inflight.
“Pilots are always looking for ways to make their flight planning more efficient and effective,” said ACAC co-chair Ray German, the FAA’s runway safety manager for the New England region. “Adding our diagrams to the ForeFlight app will make more pilots aware of this vital information and allow them to seamlessly incorporate the diagrams into their flight planning and while navigating on the airport surface.”