NPA 2015-09

Rescue and Firefighting Services (RFFS) at aerodromes

This Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) addresses safety and proportionality issues related to the provision of rescue and firefighting services (RFFS) at aerodromes.

The specific objective of this NPA is to establish and maintain a high uniform level of civil aviation safety in the field of aerodrome operations, by clarifying and offering adequate guidance on the provision of RFFS. The proposal also introduces new requirements included in ICAO Annex 14 (sixth edition), as well as Guidance Material from ICAO Doc 9137, Part 1, (fourth edition), thereby fulfilling the European Union’s commitment to support Member States (MSs) to meet their obligations towards ICAO.

This NPA proposes changes to the existing Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) annexed to ED Decision 2014/012/R. More specifically, it introduces a new method of determing the RFFS level of protection required for all-cargo, mail, ferry, training, test and end-of-life aeroplane operations. It also clarifies the role and responsibilities of RFFS and the calculation of the required quantities of extinguishing agents, and ensures a consistent application of a method for reducing the RFFS level of protection, the so-called ‘remission factor’. Finally, it strengthens the requirement for rescue and firefighting (RFF) vehicles and equipment maintenance, by including them into the aerodrome maintenance program.

The proposed changes are expected to establish and maintain a high level of safety, increase the requirements’ cost-effectiveness in the existing AMC/GM applicable to aerodromes and their operators, strengthen harmonisation across MSs and ensure compliance with ICAO.