In the course of advising many owners of small (unregistered) aerodromes/ALAs, we have identified a simple but effective operational risk management framework that seeks to address risk to organisational objectives. The simple actions set out under each function below will make a big difference to the performance of your aerodrome.

Operational Management

  • Have a clearly defined organisation structure and make sure the ‘Airport Manager’ is appropriately resourced
  • Have someone formally trained as an Aerodrome Reporting Officer with appropriate responsibilities and reporting lines of communication and give them the time and resources they need to do their job properly
  • Maintain an operations manual
  • Keep a record of what happens at the aerodrome as a basis for justifying funding applications in the future
  • Have a closed loop operational reporting process

Stakeholder and Community Safety

  • Design, construct and operate infrastructure and facilities in accordance with appropriate standards
  • Have a compliance inspection every year and implement the recommended actions
  • Manage aeronautical data according to applicable regulatory requirements
  • Implement a formal permission to operate process to ensure important operational information can be passed to aerodrome users
  • Control access to the airside areas of the aerodrome

Planning for the future

  • Have a valid master plan and formally adopt it
  • Protect the aerodrome’s future airspace (OLS/PANS-OPS) and other aerodrome safeguarding measures through relevant town planning instruments
  • Record aircraft movements – this is a fundamental driver of an aerodrome’s future infrastructure requirements
  • Check rough order of magnitude cost estimates before you apply for funding to avoid having to reduce the scope or quality of a project in the event that costs are underestimated

Community Expectations

  • Consult stakeholders and keep them informed
  • Manage expectations about noise
  • Have a closed loop complaints process
  • Do what you say you’re going to do and then tell people about it to build confidence in your ability to deliver desired outcomes

Financial Performance

  • Have a realistic budget
  • Implement appropriate fees and charges on a user pays basis
  • Accept that the aerodrome is not a profit centre – the decision is really about what loss is acceptable given the benefit that is derived

To find out more about how Aviation Projects can assist you to manage your small aerodrome, contact us.

Small Aerodrome Management Framework