A question for a controller


Active Member
Hello, had a quick question for you controllers, I work in operations bot for an airline and an airport, a discussion I had the other day with my boss prompted a question. My boss stated that the runway safety area is somewhat uncontrolled and that it is our responsibilty to clear the rsa when we hear of incoming traffic. I was under the impression the tower would advise when he wished for us to clear. Thanks for the clarification.


Well-Known Member
Depends on the airport. For some, the airports division doesn't want their vehicles in the RSA when an aircraft is using the runway. Others, they'll have mowers right up to the runway edge and be okay with aircraft using the runway.
A previous airport I was at, we allowed FAA vehicles in the RSA while using the runway for aircraft. Airport vehicles were not allowed.
Another airport, neither FAA or Airport vehicles were allowed in the RSA while aircraft were using the runway.

If you're given permission to be on the runway, you have permission to be in the RSA. If the controller needs you out, he'll say something.
If you're given permission to proceed into the RSA (but not the runway), the controller may use the runway still (just depends on the airport and procedures) but it's still on the controller to tell you to exit the RSA if he needs to.


Trustworthy Source
I never heard of difference in location. When I got to my current facility, everyone cleared the approach end of the runway, but I found literally nothing in the SOP, LOAs, or the .65 requiring it, so I just started advising mowers, et al, and aircraft, instead of restricting, and everyone seems happy. The mowers usually clear anyway.