Emergency Landing Strips

Document No:  D11#90780
 
Revision:  5B
 
Date amended:  13-May-2015

Image: orange line.RCN-D13^23151823.GIF 

 

The information below is intended to reflect the preferred practice of Main Roads Western Australia ("Main Roads"). Main Roads reserves the right to update this information at any time without notice. If you have any questions or comments on the Policy Statement or the Provision Guideline please contact Albert Symcox by e-mail or on (08) 9323 4586, and on the Design Guideline please contact Tony Freeman by e-mail or on (08) 9323 4456.

To the extent permitted by law, Main Roads, its employees, agents, authors and contributors are not liable for any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on the information herein displayed.

 

Revision Register

 

Ed/Version Number Clause Number Description of Revision Date

3

All

GUIDELINE REVISED

14/04/2011

4

10.3.2

Editorial change.

09-Dec-2011

​5 1 to 4 Policy Statement and Application Guidelines updated. 22-Mar-2012

5A

All

Broken link rectified.

01-May-2013

​5B​Header​Contact updated.​13-May-2015

Table of Content


1. POLICY STATEMENT

Main Roads is agreeable to sections of State roads being built or upgraded to act as emergency landing areas for use by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The provision of emergency landing areas is subject to meeting the Guideline requirements, the availability of funds and funding priorities.


 

2. PRELIMINARY

2.1 Definitions

The definitions provided below are for terms not contained in or have a different meaning for this Guideline to the definitions given in Main Roads Glossary of Technical Terms. Additional terminology is adopted as defined by the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) published by Aeronautical Information Service (AIS).

Aerodrome means a defined area of land or water (including any buildings, installations and equipment) intended to be used either wholly or in part for the arrival, departure and movement of aircraft).

Aerodrome Proprietor means any Owner, Licensee, Authority, Corporation or any other body which has a legal responsibility for a particular aerodrome.

Apron means a defined area on a land aerodrome, intended to accommodate aircraft for purposes of loading passengers, mail, cargo, fuelling, parking or maintenance.

AS means Australian Standard.

Landing Area means that part of the movement area intended for the take-off and landing of aircraft.

Main Roads means Main Roads Western Australia.

Manoeuvring Area means that part of an aerodrome to be used for take-off, landing and taxiing of aircraft, excluding aprons.

Movement Area means that part of an aerodrome to be used for the take-off, landing and taxiing of aircraft, consisting of the manoeuvring area and the apron(s).

Parking Area means a specially prepared or selected part of an aerodrome within which aircraft may be parked.

Runway means a defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the take-off and landing of aircraft.

Runway Strip means the defined area, including the runway (and stopway if provided), intended both to reduce the risk of damage to aircraft inadvertently running off the runway and to protect aircraft flying over it during take-off, landing or missed approach.

Stopway means a defined rectangular area on the ground at the end of the take-off run available prepared as a suitable area in which an aircraft can be stopped in the case of an abandoned take-off.

State road means a highway and main road under the control of Main Roads Western Australia, including national highways.

 

2.2 Purpose
The purpose of this document is to outline Main Roads requirements for provision of emergency landing areas on State roads.
 
 

3. APPLICATION

3.1 Applicable Routes

This guideline applies to routes designated as State roads in remote areas.

Maps of State roads can be located on www.mainroads.wa.gov.au under State Road Network Mapping System.

 

3.2 General Conditions

The prerequisite for an emergency landing area is as follows:

    • Where access to medical facilities by road may not be a viable option due to flooding of roads or distance/time constraints,
    • There are no landing areas for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) or State Emergency Services (SES) emergency evacuations,
    • Construction of a permanent landing area is not warranted due to the limited usage of the facility,
    • If a suitable permanent landing area is available nearby then the RFDS are required by law to use it and an emergency landing area should not be provided.
 
 
3.3 Design Considerations

The following considerations shall be taken into account when designing the emergency landing area:

    • The needs and safety of all road users,
    • Minimum costs associated with construction, maintenance and site location,
    • Minimum adverse impact to the environment,
    • Visual integration with the surrounding environment,
    • Maximum operational efficiency,
    • The ultimate layout (road and adjacent developments) in the vicinity of the landing area can be accommodated taking into account any possible future development,
    • Night landing requirements.

 

3.4 Funding
The provision of an emergency landing area is subject to the availability of funding and funding priorities. Additionally, the following applies:
 

3.4.1 New roadwork projects

Main Roads will generally fully fund the extra work to enable the road to act as an emergency landing area, including the provision of associated equipment.
 

3.4.2 Existing roads

Main Roads will generally fund one-third of the cost to a maximum of $50,000; subject to the balance of the cost being funded by other parties such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Department of Planning, Department of Transport and Local Government.

 

 
3.5 Maintenance
Main Roads shall fund and arrange all maintenance for the emergency landing area and associated equipment, including night lights.
 
 

4. APPROVAL

4.1 Application

An application for an emergency landing area shall be submitted in writing by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to the relevant Main Roads Regional Manager. The following must be included in the application:

    • Reasons why the nearest local airport or private station airstrip is unsuitable
      (eg. distance, flooding),
    • Reasons why provision of a permanent off-road airstrip is not warranted
      (eg. limited usage),
    • A copy of the latest RFDS "Airstrips Standards & Reporting Arrangements",
    • If the proposed runway is to be longer than the minimum length, then supporting information shall be provided,
    • Confirmation that traffic volume using the road is less than 1000 vehicles per day,
    • Confirmation that the proposed section of road does not contain a horizontal curve, floodway, culvert or diversion drain and is not subject to flooding,
    • Confirmation that the chosen section is the one that overall best meets the following:
      • Road alignment is in the direction of the stronger prevailing surface winds,

      • There are no hills, terrain or man-made objects (masts, buildings etc) more than 45 metres above the landing area elevation within 2.5 km (preferably 4.5 km) of the road section,

      • Aircraft approaching and departing the proposed landing area are preferably not to fly over residential or built-up areas,

      • Future use of the landing area is not likely to be compromised by growth of obstacles around it.
    • An Event Management Plan, a subsection of which is to be a Traffic Management Plan for Temporary Closure of the Road.
 
 
4.2 Approval
The proposed Emergency Landing Area shall be recommended by the relevant Regional Manager and approved by Executive Director Road Network Services, prior to implementation.
 
 

5. DESIGN GUIDELINE

5.1 General Standards and Applications

The purpose of this document is to specify standards for the design of emergency runway strips in Western Australia and to provide practical guidelines for the application of these standards.

Emergency runway strips are constructed in remote areas where access to medical facilities by road may not be a viable option due to flooding of roads or distance/time constraints. This combined facility is recommended in those remote areas where there are no runway strips for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) or State Emergency Services (SES) emergency evacuations and construction of a permanent runway strip is not warranted due to the limited usage of the facility.  However, if a suitable permanent runway strip is available nearby then the RFDS are required by law to use it and an emergency runway strip should not be provided. 

When designing an emergency runway strip the following considerations shall be taken into account:

- Minimum costs associated with construction, maintenance and site location;

- Minimum adverse impacts to the environment where possible;

- Maximum operational efficiency;

- Visual integration with the surrounding environment;

- The ultimate layout (road and adjacent developments) in the vicinity of the runway strips
  and ensure that it can be accommodated with a minimum reconstruction in the future;

- The needs and safety of all road user groups;

- Night landing requirements.

 

5.2 Site Location Criteria

Sites for emergency runway strips shall be straight sections of road, which meet RFDS requirements.  A copy of these requirements can be found in Appendix A.

The Main Roads regional office should first be contacted regarding specific locations and the procedures involved with their use. The RFDS can provide a diagram showing approach angles, lighting requirements and surface slopes that may be used as the basis for selecting suitable sites (Appendix A).

If there are a number of sites available, then the preferred site shall be the one that best meets the following factors:

-  Best aligned with the stronger prevailing surface winds;
-  Generally flat topography with no hills or man made objects more than 45m above th ground 
   level within 2500m (preferably 4500m);
-  Aircraft approaching the runway strips will preferably not fly over residential or built-up areas;
-  Future use of the runway strips is not likely to be compromised by the growth of obstacles
   around it;
-  Area is not likely to be subject to flooding;
-  Accessibility of site (to minimise emergency crew response time).

The following is not permitted within the site of the emergency runway strips:

-  Horizontal curves,
-  Floodways,
-  Culverts,
-  Diversion drains,
-  Intersecting roads/community access roads,
-  Cattle grids,
-  Parking bays.

 

5.3.1 Design Requirements

When designing emergency runway strips the following criteria relevant to the road design shall be met:

    • The vertical design speed for the runway strips section of road shall be 130 km/hr.
    • Typical cross section to be adopted for the emergency runway strips shall be as per Drawing No. 200431-0003.
    • Minimum seal width is 10m.
    • Maximum longitudinal slope is 2.68% (2% overall from start to end of the runway
      strips).
    • Maximum crossfall is 2.5%.
    • Minimum length of runway is 1200m.
    • Clearing for the emergency runway strips and turning bay shall be as per Drawing No. 200431-0003 and Figure 3 and 4 (Appendix A).
    • An aircraft movement area and an aircraft/ambulance parking area shall be provided as shown in Drawing No. 200431-0003.
    • Pavement markings for the emergency runway shall be in accordance with Drawing No. 200431-0003.  Road edge lines and centre line markings shall be in accordance with Main Roads pavement marking guidelines.
    • Signs, straight line distance (SLK) markers and focal point distance markers are not permitted within the location of the emergency runway strips.
    • Guideposts located within the emergency airstrip must be positioned in suitable steel sleeves to enable the removal during the use of the runway strips.
    • The minimum surfacing treatments for the emergency runway strips shall be cutback prime or primerseal followed by a double coat seal with 14mm and 10mm aggregate.
    • Consideration for provision of special facilities for pedestrians, disabled and elderly is to be made; however due to the remoteness of the site, such facilities are unlikely to be required. This issue is site specific and need to be assessed on a case by case basis.
    • The use of permanent drop-down or removable signs is to be maximised for the most efficient deployment of signs.
    • A wind direction indicator (windsock) is required, preferably portable, located in the vicinity of the aircraft apron (parking) area (Figure 11 - RFDS Standards- Appendix A), and clear of the approach, take-off and lateral transition flight zone airspace.
    • Consideration should be given to provide storage facilities on site for storage of equipment (signs etc) required for the emergency runway strip.

Details on requirements for dimensions, physical characteristics and marking for the runway strips are given in Sections 4 and 5 of the RFDS Standards (Appendix A).

 

5.3.2 Runway Lights and Lighting of Aircraft Parking Area

For a night landing, runway lights shall be placed in the pre-determined locations, as detailed by RFDS Standards (Figure 8, 9 and 10 - Appendix A).  All lights shall be anchored using bridge spikes or an equivalent method and shall meet the requirements of Section 5 of RFDS Airstrip Standards.

The windsock shall be illuminated at night to adequately show the wind direction.

 
 
5.4 Operating Procedure

For each landing site a traffic management plan shall be prepared which contains as a minimum the following information:

    • Plan showing the placement of all signs and lights,
    • Contact details for the Main Roads Regional Representative, local police and any other relevant contacts,
    • Operational requirements such as aerodrome proprietor's contact details, State Emergency Service contact details, RFDS contact details including radio frequency for communication with incoming pilot, notification of the public that the road will be closed so that the RFDS can land.

 

A sample traffic management plan is contained in Appendix B.

Upon initiation of the emergency evacuation by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the service must contact the aerodrome proprietor (one of the Main Roads Representatives-Customer Services Manager or Regional Manager) to inform them of the impending road closure.  The Main Roads representative must then issue a public notice to the effect that the road is to be closed (Radio announcement) and the reasons for the road closure.  The RFDS response times are such that they are typically airborne within 90 min of being notified that an emergency evacuation is required.

All efforts shall be made by Main Roads and local authorities to have police or Main Roads representation on site for evacuations.  Where police or Main Roads representatives are on site, these persons will have overriding authority for the evacuation in respect to all traffic matters.

When the RFDS pilot advises that a landing is to take place, all signs and lights are to be deployed and traffic controllers are to take their places at each end of the runway strips.  Appendix B contains a traffic management plan which has been designed in accordance with AS1742, and the Main Roads Traffic Management Requirements for Works on Roads.

At the instruction of the pilot, the road will then be physically closed until the aircraft has landed and is in the parking area. Once the RFDS aircraft has landed, and engines have been stopped, at the approval of the RFDS pilot the road may be reopened until such a time that the pilot orders the road to be closed again for take-off.

Speed will be reduced to 60km/h when reopening of the road during the evacuation process; 80km/h buffer will be utilised to reduce traffic speed.

At the completion of the evacuation all non-permanent signage shall be removed from the site.

It is anticipated that each road closure will be for a period typically between 30-60 minutes.  The time that the RFDS will be on the ground is dependent on the time required to stabilise the patient and that could be up to three hours.

The aerodrome proprietor shall advise RFDS of any changes that may affect safe conduct of the flight (eg. reduction to the length of the runway strip, any new or temporary obstacle etc.).

Signage and lighting requirements for emergency airstrips are as shown in Table 10.3.1.

TYPE

SIZE
(Height x width) mm

DESCRIPTION

NUMBER REQUIRED

R4-1C (80)

900 x 1200

Regulatory 80km/h Speed Restriction Sign

4

R4-1C (60)

900 x 1200

Regulatory 60km/h Speed Restriction Sign

4

R4-1C (110)

900 x 1200

Regulatory 110km/h Speed Restriction Sign

4

T1-10

1200 x 900

Traffic Hazard Ahead

4

T1-18B

1200 x 900

Prepare to Stop

2

T6-8B, T7-1B

600mm diameter

Stop/Slow Bat

2

- G9-9B

1800 x 900

Reduce Speed Signs

4

 

1200 x 900

Special RFDS Landing Sign

2

MR-TAW-27 

Refer to Drawing No. 200431-003

"RFDS Airstrip"

2

D4-5

1800 x 450

Obstruction Marker

4

 

 

Sign Mounts

50 (Includes Spare)

 

 

Steady Yellow Beacons & Batteries

8 + 6 spare

 

 

Flashing Yellow Beacons and Batteries

20 + 6 Spare

 
Table 10.3. 1 - Signage and Lighting Requirements 

During landing a minimum safety distance of 500m is required by RFDS for all vehicles to be away from the runway strip.

 

5.4.1 Site Safety

The safety of road users, persons carrying out the road closure, and the RFDS aircraft and personnel is paramount.  Emergency evacuations shall be completed ensuring the maximum safety and adherence to the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act and Regulations.

The following criteria shall be met for all evacuations:

All vehicles involved in traffic management at times of evacuation shall be fitted with and operating flashing orange beacons,
Traffic Controllers shall be used at all evacuations, at both ends of the runway strips as shown on the Drawing No. 200431-013.
No landing or take-offs shall take place unless all signs are in place, in accordance with the attached layout, and Traffic Controllers are in place.
Runway strips shall be inspected and cleared of all stock or native fauna prior to landing.
 
 
 5.5 Other Requirements

The vegetation abutting emergency runway strip (fly over area) must be clear of all vegetation and large objects over 1.0m in height, 22.5 m either side of the runway strip (Airstrip Standards & Reporting Arrangements - Appendix A). 

Routine maintenance intervention parameters for sections of road proposed for use as an emergency landing area should be specified to be of a higher standard than other sections of road because of the special use function of the road.

On sections of road where table drains occur, the maintenance area should be extended to a distance 1m beyond the table drain invert.

All lights shall be subject to periodic check and maintenance, especially the state of the batteries. Replacement of batteries shall be at costs of the aerodrome proprietor.

Reporting to the RFDS on permanent and temporary changes to the runway strips shall be as specified in Airstrip Standards & Reporting Arrangements (Appendix A) - Royal Flying Doctors Service of Western Australia.

 
 
5.6 References

1.   Airstrip Standards & Reporting Arrangements (Appendix A) - Royal Flying Doctors Service of
      Western Australia

2.   AS 1742 - Manual of uniform traffic control devices

3.   Main Roads Traffic Management Requirements for Works on Roads

4.   Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act and Regulations

5.   TraFfic Management Requirements for Works on Roads - Main Roads website - on line 
      document

6.   Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) published by Aeronautical Information Service
      (AIS), Airservice Australia  (http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aip/aip.asp)

 

 

6. APPENDIX A - Airstrip Standards & Reporting Arrangements - Royal Flying Doctors Service of Western Australia

Airstrip Standards Document:

(Click to View)

Airstrip Standards Dimensional Drawings:

Figure 1 - Airstrip Dimensions Day Operations

Figure 2 - Airstrip Dimensions Night Operations

Figure 3 - Approach and Take-off Surfaces

Figure 4 - Transitional Slope Plan and Cross Section

Figure 5 - Runway Strip Boundary Markers

Figure 6 - Runway Edge and Corner Markers

Figure 7 - Airstrip Lighting: Normal Conditions

Figure 8 - Airstrip Lighting: Emergency Operations Only 

Figure 9 - Airstrip Lighting: Emergency Operations Only

Figure 10 - Airstrip Lighting: Emergency Operations Only (Least Preferred Option)

Figure 11- Wind Direction Indicators

 
 

7. APPENDIX B - TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PLAN (SAMPLE)

Nanutarra emergency airstrip   Image: pdf-icon-4.RCN-D08^2323326.GIF