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Kidjudge's Blog

FAR 139 daily inspection idea?

  • June 03, 2017
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Had a thought and wanted to run it by those of you on the forum. Would it be okay to break up the daily inspection? This is the thought.

Overnight Shift 0000-0800

This would include RWY pavement,markings,lighting,signs RSA's and RWY OFA's 

TWY lighting and signs

Airfield OBST lighting 

Morning shift 0800-1600 

TWY pavement/markings TWY Safety Area and TWY OFA

Daily inspection of RWY pavement etc this would be a "quick inspection" with 2 vehicles one on either side of the center line of the RWY performed while the RWY is in use 

Once a week one runway per day an inspection of RWY pavement etc while the runway is closed a more comprehensive inspection

The afternoon shift 1600-0000 would also do a taxiway pavement inspection as a supplemental 




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5 Rwy's with over 900k operations here. Sounds like DEN has more pavement then it needs ;)


We do one Self-Inspection that's split up over 2 shifts. First part starts before the first flight of the day, so around 0001L.  Mostly lighting, but you get a chance to spend more time on the Rwy, thus you can see a lot more.  Our airport is split into 3 complexes; North 8's, Center 9's and South Complex is everything south of 9R.  One person per complex.


Our LOA for daytime inspections is to conduct between 0700/0800, which is the slowest time in the morning to conduct inspections. Again, 1 person per complex, 1 pass on the runway between flights.


The bulk of our work is done during our Periodic Inspections. Each person has a set number to conduct per month.  These are done during the shifts. We also have randomly scheduled closures during the day for about an hour.  This is very tough to do and requires a LOT off coordination.  Any blip in the NAS will cause us to cancel the closure.  The only time we can get daytime closures is between 1100/1200L and 1700/1800L  Any other time is too busy


I'm glad I found this thread as we are looking to make some changes


KDEN Ops, do you put out the lighted X's during your 15 minute closure for inspection?

We have dialed in on a process that seems to work pretty well for us up here in Denver.  Since we only have 6 runways and had over 500K operations last year, you'd think it would be easy, right??!!  FAA ATC is staffed 24/7 just like us!

18c tells us that the condition of pavement areas is an important part of airport safety and that pavement should be inspected daily befiore flight ops commence.  This is tough when we have flight ops around the clock. 18c also tells up that the inspection should be done in two parts, day and night. Depending what time of year it is, the sun may not cooperate early enough for the day part!

What we have come up with is to use two teams (when available) to conduct the daytime inspections at the start of our day shift which is at 0530L.  Two vehicles drive each runway complex inspecting all areas on the checklist; pavement, RSA's, markings, signs, Navaids, etc.  The runway is closed with FAA ATCT for about 15 minutes to perform these inspections.  The taxiway and ramp inspections are conducted throughout the shift.  The swing shift checks the lights at dusk and the midnight shift does the official nighttime lighting inspection to satisfy the circular.  This includes Obstr lights etc. The night guys also check our SMGCS lighting system every night.

When the sun is late getting up, which is about half the year here, we perform what we call 'initial' inspections of all of the runways without the full closures.  After the sun comes up, we will work with ATCT to do the :15 closure inspections during daylight hours.  Sometimes this means the swing shift gets to perform the official day part of the inspection on a complex or two depending on traffic etc.  Again, the mid shift always performs the nighttime portion of the official inspection.

Hope this makes sense!

Echoing what downtown49 has said and adding. Maybe you've already looked at these but if not here are a couple of links that could help with guidance.

Just make sure whatever you do it is outlined in your ACM and stick to it.   Here we do two a day, an AM and a PM with the AM being done prior to the begininng of any Air Carrier Ops for the day. The PM would be in the early to mid afternoon or anytime before darkness. These are suplemented with specials and continuous monitoring. 

We (SRQ) have two daily 139 inspections and one un-official inspection. ATCT is closed from 0000L-0600L and, under normal circunstances, no one from Ops is here 0100L - 0530L. When the morning shift arrives, the first thing they do is the un-official inspection; a fast check of the RWYs looking for major FOD, lightning strikes, aircraft (Nashville 10/29/2013), anything dangerous on the RWY, etc.

The first official 139 inspection occurs "after sunrise" so they can get a good look at the pavement, markings, saftey areas, etc. The second inspection occurs after dark so we can check the lights.

FAR 139.327(a)(1) requires a daily inspection but, it does not state everything must be inspected at the same time, so splitting up your inspections shouldn't be a problem, just put it in your ACM.

KIDJUDGE, just a couple thoughts...if you address each of the part 139 inspection requirements, it might not matter, unless you are conducting the RWY/TKW inspections in the dark might not satisfy the part 139 requirements.  Any "quick" inspection, IMHO, is not an inspection at all and if it is for the RWY/TWY etc, this is compromising safety...what about the center line of the RWY/TWY's?  Please keep in mind the RWY/TWYs belong to the airport operator rather than the FAA.  Yes, you can work with the local tower, but the airport has the final say, unless airport managment has surrendered their authority....Any proposed inspection would need to be submitted to the regional office for review and approval...Ideally, RWY/TWY inspections, when practical, should be conducted before flight operations begin rather than after the fact...Be Safe!

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