On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) to prevent injuries to ground service providers, particularly when towing aircraft and serving as wing walkers on the ramp.
According to the FAA, the purpose of the SAFO is to inform aircraft operators "about the importance of personnel remaining clear of an aircraft in tow until after it has come to a complete stop and chocks are installed."
The SAFO also address marshalling aircraft and urges operators to review procedures.
"This information is applicable to all operators under 14 CFR that either tow aircraft or have procedures for towing, ground handling, servicing or marshalling aircraft," the SAFO reads.
The SAFO states that operators should use their safety management system (SMS) (14 CFR part 5), or a similar safety risk management and safety assurance process, to evaluate its towing and marshalling procedures
FAA officials say operations should ensure:
- The procedures require installation of chocks whenever an aircraft towing operation has been stopped, either temporarily or when the aircraft being towed is parked at the intended location of parking.
- The procedures require all personnel to remain clear of the aircraft in tow until the aircraft has come to a complete stop.
- The procedures require that activities commence only after chocks are installed.
- The procedures require all personnel to remain clear of operating engines until they are shut down.