The State Airport inspections are on a schedule that revolves around the federal fiscal year of October through September. The 2021 inspection cycle started on October 1st with the airports in Zone 1. Zones 2 and 3 are scheduled for November and December.
The inspection team of duo, Joe and Terry, are back in the field performing safe and thorough inspections across the western portions of the state. Joe and Terry saw great improvements in the areas of the airport grounds, around hangars, and other building areas. An aesthetically pleasing and well-maintained facility puts newer visitors at ease about our attention to detail. It gives them confidence on the things they can’t see such as fuel quality, pavement integrity, FOD awareness, etc. As Joe always says “You don’t get a second chance at making a good first impression”
While the airports across Kentucky may reside within different topographical landscapes and accommodate different types of aircraft, we do see sometimes see commonalities of improvement opportunities between the airports on our inspections. Shared observations provide learning opportunities for all of our family of airports. The annual KDA Airport Inspection is an opportunity to showcase the hard work that the airports and their community put into the local airport throughout the year.
Some of the common areas of inspection include:
- Keep current and report pavement condition during winter events.
- Tanks – clean and algae free with the proper non-faded placards
- Filter Change Date / Next Filter Change Date - posted on filter vessel
- Fire Extinguishers – Must be inspected and tagged by a certified fire extinguisher company on an annual basis
- Fuel Nozzles – must be in good condition – Often times these are found to be damaged from being dropped/dragged on the asphalt. When damaged they can pick up and deposit small pieces of FOD in aircraft fuel tanks.
- Container in good watertight condition – Sun/weather causes damage to these containers over time
- Interior clean and free of insects and trash
- Well Stocked
- Visible markings
- Cracks and seams welled sealed
- The dimension from the top of the surface to the ground should be maintained at 1.5" to promote proper drainage away from the runway/taxiway. Any more that this creates a hazard for aircraft.
- Lighting System
- Base Mounted Lights – The concrete base should be flush with the ground. Oftentimes we find that the soil has eroded from around these bases leaving the concrete exposed in excess of 3" above the ground. FAA guidelines state that all objects above 3 inches must be frangible located inside the object free area
- Stake Mounted Lights – The angle iron anchor should also be flush with the ground. It is not uncommon to find these where they have migrated well above 3".
- Signs – We cannot check to see if the signs are operating during daylight hours. Please check these often to ensure they are properly burning.
- Sign Panels- We find sign panels where the red background have faded to pink, which is not an approved aviation color.
- Towers – We often find that the aviation orange has faded and also appears to be pink in color.
- Check for erosion which can directly impact the proper flow of the storm water and possibility create a hazard for aircraft, mowing equipment a d personnel.
- Please remove all small trees and saplings as soon as they appear. These quickly become larger trees which are very costly to remove.
- Perimeter Security Fencing
- Often times this is overgrown with brush and trees. Which greatly reduces the useful life these assets. As part of the airport's normal maintenance program these perimeter fences should be inspected, maintained, and repaired at least annually.
- Should be unlocked, accessible, and well maintained for visitors.
- United States of America Flag, Commonwealth of Kentucky Flag, etc.
- These should be replaced before they fade or become tattered and torn.
- These are not only front doors to your facility but are also front doors to your community for new visitors, please maintain them as necessary and replace if needed.