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The development of TBLT operations best prac- States Department of Transportation (DOT)/Federal tices started with identifying industry groups in- Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations, volved with TBLT operations. Once identified, the FAA advisory circulars (ACs), FAA orders, existing following groups were contacted to collect data and airport operating procedures, aircraft manufactur- discuss TBLT considerations: ers' recommended practices, TBLT manufacturers' Airlines that use TBLTs, recommended practices, and equipment-specific train- Airports at which TBLTs are in use, ing. Where appropriate, this document may, however, Aircraft manufacturers, be used to supplement existing documentation, guid- Aviation industry organizations, and ance, and information. Airport safety working groups involved with Each airport presents a unique combination of physical, operational, meteorological, and regula- TBLT operations. tory characteristics that must be evaluated as a whole The information gathered from these groups when an effective TBLT operational and training was consolidated and common practices were program is being developed. This document is in- identified as were unique practices that had appli- tended to serve as a starting point for airports and/ cation on a broader scale. Regulatory requirements or operators who are considering development of pertinent to TBLT operations were also identified; their own guidance on TBLT best practices. Com- these requirements generally apply to ground vehi- munication and coordination within the local airport cles, which include TBLTs and their operators. The community is critical to ensure that the best prac- information was organized and presented as best tices ultimately implemented are clearly understood practices aimed at providing broad guidance to air- and agreed upon. It is important to recognize that ports and airlines for the enhancement of safety in the technical and operational landscapes surround- TBLT operations. ing aircraft towing are evolving, which may neces- sitate that this document be updated periodically to remain current and within existing and future regu- 1.3Purpose latory requirements and guidelines. The purpose of this document is to provide prac- tical planning guidance describing best practices for 2 Definition of Terms operating TBLTs at airports. This document intro- duces best practices to airports and operators that Air Traffic Control (ATC)--Personnel authorized do not currently have guidelines and can be incor- to control aircraft and vehicles operating on porated into or supplement existing documents and the airport movement area and in the airspace. handbooks. The following objectives guided the de- ATC issues specific instructions that approve or velopment of this document: disapprove the movement of aircraft, vehicles, Develop the document as a reference that is equipment, or personnel. For purposes of this document, ATC encompasses tower, ground, useful to airports and aircraft operators, and ramp control. Provide practical guidance to assist airports Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT)--A ter- and aircraft operators in developing training minal facility that uses air/ground communica- programs for the safe use of TBLTs, and tions, visual signaling, and other devices to pro- Provide practical guidance to assist airports vide ATC services to aircraft operating on and and aircraft operators in developing and im- in the vicinity of the airport. plementing a standard set of guidelines for Airport Markings--Markings used on the runway safe operation of TBLTs. and taxiway surfaces to identify a specific run- The purpose of this guidance is to assist airports way, a runway threshold, a centerline, a hold and aircraft operators in gaining a basic understand- line, and the like. ing of the training and operational issues associated Airport Operations Area (AOA)--The areas on with TBLT operations. The guidance and informa- the airport (generally inside airport fencing) that tion in this document is not intended to be a substi- include aprons, ramps, aircraft parking areas, tute for, nor in any case supersede, existing United taxiways, and runways. 2

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Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE)-- white, green, or red light as selected by the tower Surveillance equipment specifically designed to controller. The color and type of light transmit- detect aircraft, vehicular traffic, and other ob- ted can be used when radio communication is jects on the surface of an airport, and to present not available for controlling traffic on the airport the detected images on a tower display. ASDE movement area. is used to augment visual observation by tower Line of Sight (LOS)--An imaginary straight line personnel of aircraft and/or vehicular move- from the observer's eye to an object. ments on runways and taxiways. Lost Communications--Loss of the ability to com- Apron (also referred to as Ramp)--A defined municate by radio. area, on a land aerodrome, intended to accom- Maintenance Towing--Towing of an airplane for modate aircraft for purposes of loading or un- maintenance/remote parking purposes (e.g., from loading passengers, mail or cargo; refueling; the gate to a maintenance hangar). The airplane and parking or maintenance. is typically unloaded (no passengers or cargo, Automatic Terminal Information Service reserve fuel only). This type of towing can in- (ATIS)--The continuous broadcast of recorded volve relatively high speeds and long distances non-control information in selected terminal with several starts, stops, and turns. areas. Its purpose is to improve controller effec- Monitor--Listen on a specific frequency [e.g., ATC tiveness and to relieve frequency congestion by ground, ATC tower] and stand by for instructions. automating the repetitive transmission of essen- Under normal circumstances do not establish tial but routine information. communications. Controller--A person authorized to provide ATC Movement Area--The airport runways, taxiways, services. and safety areas. The movement area does not Dispatch Towing--Towing of a fully loaded rev- include loading ramps or aircraft parking areas. enue airplane (passengers, cargo, fuel) from the Specific approval for entry onto the movement terminal gate/remote parking area to a location area must be obtained from ATC. near the departure runway. This type of towing Night--The hours between the end of evening civil can involve relatively high speeds and long dis- tances with several starts, stops, and turns, and twilight and the beginning of morning civil twi- generally replaces typical pre-takeoff taxiing light or such other period between sunset and operations. (Formerly referred to as "high-speed sunrise as may be specified by the appropriate towing" or "operational towing.") authority. Empty--A tow tug (TBLT or conventional tug) Non-movement Area--Taxi lanes, aprons/ramp that is operating without an aircraft in tow. and parking areas not under control of ATC. Escort--Airside operations vehicle leading, direct- Notices To Airmen (NOTAMs)--A notice contain- ing, and guiding a vehicle. ing information (not known sufficiently in ad- Flight Deck Observer--Personnel in the aircraft vance to publicize by other means) concerning flight deck qualified and authorized to communi- the establishment, condition, or change in any cate with the ATC, assist the TBLT operator with component (facilities, service, procedures, haz- situational awareness of taxi movements, and also ards) the timely knowledge of which is essential to apply brakes only in case of an emergency. to personnel concerned with flight operations. Foreign Object Debris (FOD)--Any item located Oversteer--Exceedance of the maximum allow- on the AOA that can be ingested or blown by an able steering angle or torsion load as defined by aircraft engine causing damage to property or the airframe manufacturer for a specific airplane personnel. model or derivative. "Hold Short"--ATC communications term used Pushback Towing--Towing of a fully loaded rev- to instruct vehicles or aircraft to hold short of a enue airplane (passengers, cargo, and fuel) from a runway, traffic, or a specific point on the airfield parked position at the gate to the taxiway. Towing such as localizer critical area, glideslope critical typically includes pushback with a turn, stop, and area, precision obstacle-free zone, and so forth. a short tow forward to align the airplane. Light Gun--A handheld directional light signal- Runway Incursion--Any occurrence at an aero- ing device that emits a brilliant narrow beam of drome involving the incorrect presence of an 3