Oct. 7, 2016

Industry feedback indicates some aviation stakeholders may not yet be familiar with significant changes in field condition reporting standards that went into effect this month. An Oct. 20 NBAA webinar: “Get Prepared for New Field Condition Reporting,” will provide a thorough review of the new runway condition assessment matrix (RCAM) at the core of the revised takeoff and landing performance assessment (TALPA) practices.

The RCAM assigns runway condition codes (RwyCC) of between zero and six, based upon objective measurements of the type and amount of surface contamination, for each third of the runway. Higher numbers indicate more favorable conditions.

“It’s critical that business aviation pilots are fully versed in the new reporting practices and understand how to apply RwyCC to the aircraft they fly before the winter weather conditions arrive,” said Alex Gertsen, NBAA director for airports and ground infrastructure. “Pilots will be confronted with RwyCC even when operating on runways in warm climates as some airports are using the codes to report wet runways.”

Commercial airline captain John Gadzinski worked on the FAA’s TALPA aviation rulemaking committee that developed the new RCAM procedures, and helped create an RCAM training program for webinar sponsor Zodiac Arresting Systems. “The RCAM is not merely a tool to provide guidance,” he said. “It should also encourage questions so that operators can make good judgement calls.”

“For everyone involved to utilize the RCAM correctly, it’s very important that everyone involved understand the reasoning and intent behind the process,” Gadzinski continued. The webinar presentation will also feature insights from the industry personnel who worked for more than a decade to develop the new standards.

NBAA is also preparing additional TALPA resources developed specifically for business aviation pilots and operators. “These educational materials will provide valuable insight into the new field condition reporting,” explained Richard Boll, chair of the NBAA Access Committee Airspace Working Group and author of the resources.

The new procedures will also be highlighted in two educational sessions taking place at the 2016 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) taking place Nov. 1-3 in Orlando, FL.