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Farnborough Airfield Category

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Farnborough Airfield Category

Old 3rd Jun 2020, 09:55
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Farnborough Airfield Category

Anyone able to confirm (with evidence) what category Farnborough Airfield (EGLF) is please? Understand its a Cat A, but some operators list it as a Cat B for its noise sensitive routings? many thanks
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Old 3rd Jun 2020, 13:00
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There is no single answer to your question as the result will depend upon the classification method used by the individual operator, taking into account their individual circumstances as well as the characteristics of the place itself. Operators I have flown for have variously categorised Farnborough as A, A*, A2, B and B1, but all mentioned noise as a consideration. Some had a very robust and methodical categorisation system, others not so much.
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Old 3rd Jun 2020, 14:28
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Originally Posted by Sepp View Post
There is no single answer to your question as the result will depend upon the classification method used by the individual operator, taking into account their individual circumstances as well as the characteristics of the place itself. Operators I have flown for have variously categorised Farnborough as A, A*, A2, B and B1, but all mentioned noise as a consideration. Some had a very robust and methodical categorisation system, others not so much.
Thats helpful and slightly bewildering at the same time, thank you.
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Old 4th Jun 2020, 08:07
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Spooler

Airfield categorisations are defined by each operator, so you look at it and decide for yourself. You will find the criteria in EASA Air Operations AMC1 ORO.FC.105(b)(2);(c) and this applies to all pilots whether Commercial or private.

MM
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Old 4th Jun 2020, 10:07
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Miles M I agree, but It should perhaps be emphasised that whilst the AMC provides a method of compliance, the three-tier system is not a fixed requirement from which no deviation is allowed, as some seem to think - the operator may (and indeed ought to) decide what criteria are pertinent, and how they might be categorised or treated, given their equipment and level of experience in conducting the given operation both from the standpoint of crewing and oversight. As any chosen solution requires the permission of the Authority, anything less involved than what is in the AMC is not likely to see the light of day - follow the AMC and you'll be legal but really, a lot more thought ought to go into the task.

For reference, the regulation itself makes no mention whatsoever of airfield categories, it simply requires an operator to ensure the PIC/Commander has "adequate knowledge":

ORO.FC.105 Designation as pilot-in-command/commander(a) In accordance with 8.e of Annex IV to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008, one pilot amongst the flight crew, qualified as pilot-in-command in accordance with Annex I (Part-FCL) to Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011, shall be designated by the operator as pilot-in-command or, for commercial air transport operations, as commander.

(1) the minimum level of experience specified in the operations manual;

(2) adequate knowledge of the route or area to be flown and of the aerodromes, including alternate aerodromes, facilities and procedures to be used;

(3) in the case of multi-crew operations, completed an operator's command course if upgrading from co-pilot to pilot-in-command/commander.

(b) The operator shall only designate a flight crew member to act as pilot-in-command/commander if he/she has:

(1) the minimum level of experience specified in the operations manual;

(2) adequate knowledge of the route or area to be flown and of the aerodromes, including alternate aerodromes, facilities and procedures to be used;

(3) in the case of multi-crew operations, completed an operator's command course if upgrading from co-pilot to pilot-in-command/commander.

(c) In the case of commercial operations of aeroplanes and helicopters, the pilot-in-command/commander or the pilot, to whom the conduct of the flight may be delegated, shall have had initial familiarisation training of the route or area to be flown and of the aerodromes, facilities and procedures to be used. This route/area and aerodrome knowledge shall be maintained by operating at least once on the route or area or to the aerodrome within a 12-month period.

(...etc.)
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Old 4th Jun 2020, 20:21
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Sepp is quite correct with his much more complete answer
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 07:52
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SEPP you need to go a few pages down on the regulation.

(i) category A — an aerodrome that meets all of the following requirements:
(A) an approved instrument approach procedure;
(B) at least one runway with no performance limited procedure for take-off and/or landing;
(C) published circling minima not higher than 1 000 ft above aerodrome level; and
(D) night operations capability.
(ii) category B — an aerodrome that does not meet the category A requirements or which requires extra considerations such as:
(A) non-standard approach aids and/or approach patterns;
(B) unusual local weather conditions;
(C) unusual characteristics or performance limitations;
or (D) any other relevant considerations, including obstructions, physical layout, lighting, etc.
(iii) category C — an aerodrome that requires additional considerations to a category B aerodrome; (iv) offshore installations may be categorised as category B or C aerodromes, taking into account the limitations determined in accordance with AMC1 SPA
It is mainly aircraft performance considerations that will mean for one Aircraft type an Airfield can be CAT A, but for another it will be CAT B. For example at Farnborough a Citation Mustang will not have any performance limitations so it would be CAT A. But a Boeing BBJ may have performance limitations so will be CAT B. One Runway at Farnborough does have reduced minima for the 2.5 % missed approach gradient, which again for lower performance types could make it CAT B, other operators may deem from the lower minima an adequate climb gradient can still achieved for obstacle clearance hence may still call it CAT A. The latter point I would make it CAT B irrespective; but It is also discretion of the assessor / operator to what they consider to be an unusual feature sometimes.

Last edited by portsharbourflyer; 6th Jun 2020 at 08:07.
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 09:50
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Originally Posted by portsharbourflyer View Post
SEPP you need to go a few pages down on the regulation.

(snip)
portsharbourflyer : Negative, what you have provided is from the text of the AMC (remember, it means Acceptable Means of Compliance) - which is neither a regulation nor exclusively binding. It simply provides ONE bare-bones minimum way of satisfying the regulation that will be automatically approved. You can go beyond, deviate from or even disregard the AMC completely if you like. As the method you choose has to be provided in the Operations Manual and requires the blessing of 'the Competent Authority'; anything less considered than what's in the AMC will likely not ever be approved, as the Authority has to justify it to EASA - but please don't think you HAVE to use a three-tier A, B, C bottom-to-top system with criteria chosen and applied as in the AMC.

My '(etc.)' replaced the last bit of the regulation which reads:

(d) Point (c) shall not apply in the case of :

1)performance class B aeroplanes involved in commercial air transport operations under VFR by day; and

(2)commercial air transport operations of passengers conducted under VFR by day, starting and ending at the same aerodrome or operating site or within a local area specified by the competent authority, with other-than complex motor-powered helicopters, single-engined, with a MOPSC of 5.

and that's it.

Check the regulation for yourself here .

Last edited by Sepp; 6th Jun 2020 at 10:40.
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 11:36
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Sepp,
While what you say about the status of AMCs is technically correct, the reality is somewhat different. The operator is free to have additional criteria in addition to the A, B, C as defined, but in order to do anything instead of that requires a formal approval of an Alternative Means of Compliance (ALTMoC). This is a process that involves lots of effort, time and money so is not practical for anyone but the largest operator. And even they complain about the waste of resources.
So in practice most operators of corporate aircraft are best sticking to the letter of the AMC. Unfortunately this results in bizarre things like the operator's home base being categorised as B and so requiring special briefing! Don't you just love EASA...
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 13:06
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Originally Posted by BizJetJock View Post
Sepp,
While what you say about the status of AMCs is technically correct, the reality is somewhat different. The operator is free to have additional criteria in addition to the A, B, C as defined, but in order to do anything instead of that requires a formal approval of an Alternative Means of Compliance (ALTMoC). This is a process that involves lots of effort, time and money so is not practical for anyone but the largest operator. And even they complain about the waste of resources.
So in practice most operators of corporate aircraft are best sticking to the letter of the AMC. Unfortunately this results in bizarre things like the operator's home base being categorised as B and so requiring special briefing! Don't you just love EASA...
I agree, the further you deviate, the more work you're going to do and for startup operators it might not be worth the effort until they've been going a while. In fairness to the CAA, in particular our FO (I) who was very supportive, we managed the process quickly - I think it took 14 working days - and with no major hassle at all.

EASA is a frustrating beast. One one hand, the AMC/GM system is excellent; on the other, the whole Regulation/Parts leviathan is a waddling, bureaucratic disaster. Bring back JAR-OPS!
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 13:31
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Lets keep the post on topic, SEPP you can lecture about the semantics of Regs and AMC, but as Bizjetjock points out 95% of operators will use the AMC guidance as an absolute minimum.

In response to the original posters question; the AMC details provide the answer. Performance limitations are the most obvious part of the AMC which will result in variation in the Category not just between operator but even between different fleets of a single operator at Farnborough. The original poster wanted to know why Farnborough's Category varies then I have provided a reasoned answer to why categories can vary.

Last edited by portsharbourflyer; 6th Jun 2020 at 22:05. Reason: better phrasing
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 14:18
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Originally Posted by portsharbourflyer View Post
Lets keep the post on topic, SEPP you can lecture about the semantics of Regs and AMC, but as Bizjetjock points out 95% of operators will use the AMC guidance as an absolute minimum.

In response to the original posters question; the AMC details provide the answer. Performance limitations are the most obvious part of the AMC which will result in variation in the Category not just between operator but even between different fleets of a single operator at Farnborough. The original poster wanted to know why Farnborough's Category varies then I have provided a viable answer to that question.
lmao, hoorah for you.

I believe, if you re-read my original reply, you will find that it, too, provides "a viable answer to that question". You will also note that I agree with BJJ. The discussion subsequent to MM's contribution is just that - a discussion, as very often stems from a simple question. You chose to enter that discussion, and must accept that your contribution may therefore be explored for worth, as do I and I welcome BBJ's comments. Your post contained an error... in fact, it was mainly error. You chided me that I needed to look deeper into the regulation - I merely pointed out that your quoted material was not, as you suggested, from the regulation. You regard the difference as semantics - I can assure you, having written and administered this stuff as CP of a mixed-fleet operation under three regulatory régimes, the difference between regulation, AMC and GM and the degree to which they impact upon a company's operations is remarkably important.

I am more than happy to accept that the discussion goes deeper into the what and how than OP was expecting, or than I was expecting it to. I fully appreciate that many operators don't think beyond the bare minimum of what is required - and I've flown for many of them. I most firmly do NOT accept that it should be so.

Last edited by Sepp; 6th Jun 2020 at 14:43.
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 18:43
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"Your post contained an error". Yes I called an AMC a regulation, accepted, what still stands is that AMC is the most relevant piece of information in the documentation set with regard to the subject of airfield categorisation; legally binding or not.

Sepp you stated:
"Operators I have flown for have variously categorised Farnborough as A, A*, A2, B and B1"
So please could you elaborate and state the criteria or reason why some went for CAT B?
Looking the plates it is a longer Runway than I first thought, so maybe not so performance limited as I thought for larger types.

Last edited by portsharbourflyer; 7th Jun 2020 at 15:51.
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Old 7th Jun 2020, 12:25
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Originally Posted by portsharbourflyer View Post
Sepp you stated:
"Operators I have flown for have variously categorised Farnborough as A, A*, A2, B and B1"
So please could you elaborate and state the criteria or reason why some went for CAT B ?
Looking the plates it is a longer Runway than I first thought, so maybe not so performance limited as I thought for larger types.
And while you are at it, I would also be interested to learn what A*, A2, B1 stand for. I have been flying for commercial outfits since almost 30 years but never encountered anything else than "A" "B" and "C".
And by the way: In our manual, Farnborough is listed as category "A".
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Old 7th Jun 2020, 21:36
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The point is, the original question,Anyone able to confirm (with evidence) what category Farnborough Airfield (EGLF) is please? Understand its a Cat A, but some operators list it as a Cat B for its noise sensitive routings? many thanks’ is moot.

The answer cannot be given here, but only by the relevant person at the AOC-holding organisation. He will need to be willing to justify it subsequently, should it be challenged by the regulator.

We can all offer opinions, but none of us can give a definitive answer.

I’ll offer my two cents: For a Piper Seneca, typically Category A, but briefing to be read before operating (displaced thresholds, airspace, etc). For a Boeing 777, Category C commander’s only landing and takeoff, requiring simulator training or a visit with a company TRE(A); Company TRE(A)s exempt provided they have had a briefing from the DFO. Everything else somewhere in between at discretion. I’m sure that doesn’t help.

Finally, the ludicrous process of categorisation needs to stop. The award of an aerodrome licence should mean that the aerodrome is a fit place to operate subject to published provisions. Having literally been woken in the night to write a categorisation and special brief for a place I’ve never heard of before ‘because we’ve just sold a charter’, and then searched Jeppesen and their competitors, google earth, AIPs and so on, and our oppositions’ out-of-date OM(C)s trying to write something effective, makes a mockery of the licensing system. Another consequence is that many operators down-categorise for commercial reasons. Sion, Category B, anybody?
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Old 8th Jun 2020, 14:51
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Living close by the different approach by aircraft type might be that unlike many airfields FNB is right in the middle of a town-well the eastern end is. The operator is restricted to number of movements per year and works very hard to stay on good terms with tis neighbours. Anything that suggested a/c like 777s could operate there under the same rules as the bizjet community would likely get picked up in local media and result ina big fuss over next to nothing.
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Old 8th Jun 2020, 19:44
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Monty Niveau,


Your "2 Cents" ties in very well with the AMC;

i) category A — an aerodrome that meets all of the following requirements:
(A) an approved instrument approach procedure;
(B) at least one runway with no performance limited procedure for take-off and/or landing;
So a very direct answer with a


Your Piper Seneca/B777 example is perfect example of "performance limitations" affecting the airfield category. The B777 has performance limitations at Farnborough hence does not meet the AMC guidance for Cat A.

Given the other factors are subject of opinion and discussion your example actually illustrates something that is very well defined in the written EASA documentation set.


However it isn't always the Operator that defines the category, take a look at some of the Norwegian Aerodromes and you will find that the Norwegian CAA already specifies in the AIP that these are CAT B or CAT C (eg Evenes, Bardufos or Tromso). Accepted that isn't that relevant to Farnborough.

Last edited by portsharbourflyer; 8th Jun 2020 at 20:58. Reason: detail
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Old 9th Jun 2020, 09:07
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Originally Posted by Monty Niveau View Post
Finally, the ludicrous process of categorisation needs to stop. The award of an aerodrome licence should mean that the aerodrome is a fit place to operate subject to published provisions. Having literally been woken in the night to write a categorisation and special brief for a place I’ve never heard of before ‘because we’ve just sold a charter’, and then searched Jeppesen and their competitors, google earth, AIPs and so on, and our oppositions’ out-of-date OM(C)s trying to write something effective, makes a mockery of the licensing system. Another consequence is that many operators down-categorise for commercial reasons. Sion, Category B, anybody?
Agreed. But as everything these days, its ass covering 101. Put everything on the operator and as a authority, nobody can question you. OTOH the same authorities do - where they can - make airfields special training/permission etc field that don´t "deserve" that. My homebase (EDFM) is a perfect example for using this method and utterly wrong in doing it.

But I guess its a futile exercise to fight this sh!t, in Europe we overregulate until the horse is dead. Which might happen quicker than we all will like...
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