1 Rescue and Fire Fighting Services

Information on the existence of a rescue and fire-fighting service, its category (pursuant to Commission Regulation (EU) 139/2014 and Annex 14 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation Volume I) and life-saving equipment is given in the relevant subsection of each aerodrome, para AD 2.6

If there is no rescue and firefighting service at the airport or its category has been downgraded, the commercial air transport service provider must base its operation of the aircraft on its own risk assessment (pursuant to Annex 6 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation Operation of Aircraft, Volume I).

2 Snow Plan

2.1 Organisation of Winter Service

During the winter period from approximately 1 NOV to 1 APR*, the Aerodrome Maintenance Service at the aerodromes listed below conduct the following duties:

  1. monitoring the manoeuvring area and the platform(s) to detect the presence of surface contaminants (such as frost, ice or snow, etc.) during the winter;

  2. Assess the runway condition on each third of the runway (and as soon as possible on the taxiway(s) and apron(s)) and determine the RWYCC code** using RCAM;

  3. determining the percentage and depth of pollutant covered by each pollutant on each third of the runway (and as soon as possible on the taxiway(s) and apron(s)), describing the condition of the runway and recording elements of traffic situational awareness;

  4. taking measures to ensure the manoeuvrability of the manoeuvring area and the apron(s);

  5. notification of the conditions specified in this point 2.1 a) to c) using the runway condition reporting format (RCR).

* The assessment and cleaning of the condition of the movement area, if necessary (for example, standing water on the runway, sand, dust, etc.) as well as the transmission of the runway condition report, is performed throughout the year.

** A specially treated winter runway is not used at Estonian aerodromes.

Winter service is established at the following aerodromes:
  • Kuressaare (EEKE)
  • Kärdla (EEKA)
  • Lennart Meri Tallinn (EETN)
  • Pärnu (EEPU)
  • Tartu (EETU)
  • Ämari (MIL) (EEEI)
2.2 Surveillance of Movement Areas

The aerodrome maintenance service monitors the conditions of the manoeuvring area and apron(s) and transmits RCRs during the aerodrome's published opening hours.

2.3 Assessing the Condition of the Movement Area and Measuring Friction Characteristics

2.3.1 The assessment of the condition of the movement area (incl. Downgrading or correction of the RWYCC code), transmission of the assessment information and publication shall take place in accordance with

  • The instructions set out in to para 6 Appendix 3 of Annex III to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/469,
  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/2148 and
  • considering
    • PANS-AIM document of the Convention of Civil Aviation (ICAO Doc 10066),
    • PANS-Aerodromes of the Convention of Civil Aviation (ICAO Doc 9981),
    • Guidance on the issuance of SNOWTAM of the Convention of Civil Aviation and
    • Circular No. 355 Assessment, Measurement and Reporting of Runway Surface Conditions of the Convention of Civil Aviation.

2.3.2 If friction characteristics measurements are performed during the movement area assessment, the friction characteristics obtained will only*** be used as additional information in assessing the condition of the runway, taxiway(s) or apron (s).

NB! Friction characteristics values measured from the movement area are not subject to reporting***.

*** Ämari military airfield measures and, if necessary, transmits the values of the friction characteristics only to military cooperation partners and aircraft performing defence aviation flights.

2.3.3 The following methods of measurement apply:

  1. continuous method whereby the friction characteristics is determined by friction characteristics tester measurements;

  2. deceleration measurements with the use of an instrument that only indicates the peak value of the deceleration reached during each braking (Tapley meter – TAP).

All measurements and calibrations are accomplished in accordance with the instructions given by manufacturer for the proper use of the instruments. Measurements are taken approximately 4 m on either side of the runway centre line.

Different friction characteristics testers are used at Estonian aerodromes:

Swedish company ASFT friction characteristics tester Saab 9000 and TAP Bowmonk AFM2 MK3 are used at Kuressaare aerodrome.

Swedish company ASFT friction characteristics tester T-10 and Tapley meter are used at Kärdla aerodrome.

Finnish Vammas factory Skiddometers BV11 are used at Lennart Meri Tallinn aerodrome.

Finnish origin Skiddometer BV11 is used at Pärnu aerodrome.

Swedish company ASFT friction characteristics tester T-10 and English origin Tapley meter Bowmonk AFM2 MK3 are used at Tartu aerodrome.

ASFT friction characteristics tester Škoda MK-4 and T5 trailer are used at Ämari Military Aerodrome.

2.4 Actions Taken to Maintain the Usability of Movement Areas

2.4.1 Snow clearance at movement area and measures to improve braking efficiency will be implemented as long as conditions at the movement area impede the safety and regularity of air traffic.

2.4.2 Contaminants that cannot be removed by mechanical means are removed, if possible, with chemicals.

The following chemicals are used for chemical de-icing on runways (other parts of the movement area if necessary):

  • for spreading: Stega UNISALT SF (HCOONa) at the airports specified in para 2.1;

  • for spraying: Stega UNISALT PF (50% CHKO₂ solution) at the airports specified in para 2.1.

Improvement of the braking efficiency by spreading sand is not used in Estonian aerodromes.

Chemical de-icing of runways will be carried out to a width of not less than 15 m on each side of the centre line of the runway.

2.4.3 Elimination of the contaminant is usually performed in the following order:

  1. Runway and access road from the fire station.
  2. Taxiway(s) to runway in use.
  3. ILS critical area.
  4. Apron(s).
  5. Other areas and roads.

Measures will be taken to clear the runway to full width but in special cases conditions may dictate that wide runways be opened temporarily for traffic even if cleared to a width of 30 m only. Clearance will not be considered completed until the runway is cleared to full width.

2.5 System and Means of Reporting

2.5.1 The Aerodrome Maintenance Service will use RCR format to report runway condition which will be delivered to the NOF /ATS unit for further dissemination.

2.5.2 If the paved runway or part of an aerodrome is wet and slippery wet, the airport operator shall communicate this information to the airport users concerned. To do this, they create a NOTAM and describe the location of the affected runway section.

2.5.3 When the ATS unit transmits information to the pilot on the runway condition, it shall be transmitted by part of the runway and in the order in which these conditions occur on the runway to be used for take-off or landing from the point of contact.

2.5.4 If it becomes apparent that the braking performance of the traffic area is not as good as reported to the flight crew and / or indicated in the SNOWTAM message, the flight crew is required to inform the air traffic services units using the reporting phrases in the RCAM matrix:

  • Good;
  • Good to Medium;
  • Medium;
  • Medium to Bad;
  • Bad;
  • Very bad.

2.5.5 When the pollutant is no longer present in the traffic area, the RCR message "DRY - RWYCC 6" is transmitted. Alternatively, in this case, in the absence of a pollutant, the new RCR may not be transmitted during aerodrome operating hours after the expiry of the previous SNOWTAM message. The SNOWTAM message is valid for a maximum of 8 hours.

NB! A SNOWTAM message that has become invalid outside airport opening hours does not automatically mean that there is no pollutant in the traffic area.

2.6 Transmission of Runway Condition Report

The runway condition message is forwarded from Kuressaare, Kärdla, Lennart Meri Tallinn, Pärnu and Tartu airports in a separate special series NOTAM format (SNOWTAM) for further distribution to NOF.

From Ämari military airport, a runway condition message is transmitted with an SNOWTAM message upon request.

The SNOWTAM message shall be prepared in accordance with the Civil Aviation Convention PANS-AIM (ICAO Doc 10066).

Information on the runway condition at aerodromes not mentioned above can be obtained from any of the aerodromes concerned.

2.7 Cases of Runway Closure

If safe braking efficiency cannot be ensured in the manoeuvring area or the runway condition has been assessed at Ämari aerodrome with code 0 or 1 and at other aerodromes with code 0**** (RWYCC), the manoeuvring area must be closed with NOTAM.

**** In the case of RWYCC 1, the need to close the manoeuvring area is assessed, taking into account the condition of the entire traffic area as well as the measurement results of the grip factor.