Advisory Circular (AC) No. 300-005

Subject: Changes to Runway Surface Condition Reporting

Issuing Office: Civil Aviation, Standards
Document No.: AC 300-005
File Classification No.: Z 5000-34
Issue No.: 06
RDIMS No.: 14218200-V2
Effective Date: 2018-10-31

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

  • (1) This Advisory Circular (AC) is provided for information and guidance purposes. It describes an example of an acceptable means, but not the only means, of demonstrating compliance with regulations and standards. This AC on its own does not change, create, amend or permit deviations from regulatory requirements, nor does it establish minimum standards.

1.1 Purpose

  • (1) The purpose of this document is to outline Runway Surface Condition reporting procedures in conjunction with the Canadian NOTAM Procedures Manual (CNPM), and to make available a revised version of the Aircraft Movement Surface Condition Report (AMSCR) and Canadian Runway Friction Index (CRFI) form.

1.2 Applicability

  • (1) This document applies to aerodrome operators.

1.3 Description of Changes

  • (1) Due to the number of changes included in this issue, the entire document should be reviewed. Following are the principal revisions:
    • (a) Revision to Section 3.0 Background.
    • (b) Addition of Section 6.2 Contaminants/Conditions.
    • (c) Revision to Section 6.3 Percentage of Coverage. This section was revised to update the percentage of coverage to 5% intervals which was implemented by NAV CANADA in 2014.
    • (d) Revision to Section 9.0 Conclusion.
    • (e) A new version of the AMSCR form is included in Appendix A and B. The AMSCR form was revised to remove “compacted snow patches”, “frozen ridges”, “ice patches” and “snow drifts” from the list of reportable contaminants.
    • (f) Revision to Appendix C to remove the terms “frozen ridges” and “snow drift”.
    • (g) Other changes of an editorial nature.

2.0 References and Requirements

2.1 Reference Documents

  • (1) It is intended that the following reference materials be used in conjunction with this document:
    • (a) Aeronautics Act (R.S., 1985, c. A-2);
    • (b) Part III, Subpart 01 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) — Aerodromes;
    • (c) Part III, Subpart 02 of the CARs — Airports;
    • (d) Advisory Circular (AC) 302-013 – Airport Winter Maintenance and Planning;
    • (e) Canadian NOTAM Procedures Manual.

2.2 Cancelled Documents

  • (1) Not applicable.
  • (2) By default, it is understood that the publication of a new issue of a document automatically renders any earlier issues of the same document null and void.

2.3 Definitions and Abbreviations

  • (1) The following definitions are used in this document:
    • (a) NOTAM: A notice distributed by means of telecommunications containing information concerning the establishment, condition or change in any aeronautical facility, service, procedure or hazard, the timely knowledge of which is essential to personnel concerned with flight operations.
    • (b) NOTAMJ: A special series NOTAM notifying the presence of hazardous conditions due to contaminants on runways by means of a specific format.
    • (c) SNOWTAM: A special series NOTAM notifying the presence or removal of hazardous conditions due to snow, ice, slush or standing water associated with snow, slush and ice on the movement area, by means of a specific format.
    • (d) SNOWiz: An internet application for the direct entry of runway surface condition by an accountable source, the output being both a NOTAMJ and a SNOWTAM. The SNOWiz web application is for fixed, airport office use. SNOWiz is also an internet interface that allows dialog between automated reporting systems and the NAV CANADA database.
  • (2) The following abbreviations are used in this document:
    • (a) AC: Advisory Circular
    • (b) AMSCR: Aircraft Movement Surface Condition Report
    • (c) CARS: Canadian Aviation Regulations
    • (d) CNPM: Canadian NOTAM Procedures Manual
    • (e) CRFI: Canadian Runway Friction Index
    • (f) GRF: Global Reporting Format
    • (g) ICAO: International Civil Aviation Organization
    • (h) RSC: Runway Surface Condition
    • (i) NPA: Notice of Proposed Amendment
    • (j) TCCA: Transport Canada Civil Aviation

3.0 Background

  • (1) In 2012, NAV CANADA introduced an internet based process for delivering Aircraft Movement Surface Condition Reports (AMSCRs), including the Canadian Runway Friction Index (CRFI), where it is available, into NAV CANADA’s NOTAM distribution process.
  • (2) NAV CANADA’s web portal is called SNOWiz and was developed in support of their initiative to provide the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) format SNOWTAMs for international users desiring them. The NOTAMJ format NOTAM is also continuing to be published.
  • (3) To facilitate the new SNOWiz AMSCR delivery process Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) made available an alternative AMSCR form.
  • (4) The SNOWiz provides airports with the means to directly input AMSCRs into NAV CANADA’s Aeronautical Data Management System to create and distribute NOTAMs. This facilitates accelerating the delivery of vital information to pilots and reduces opportunities for input errors. The procedures, described in the Canadian NOTAM Procedures Manual (CNPM), are embedded in the SNOWiz portal.
  • (5) Runway inspectors can input AMSCRs into SNOWiz at a suitable computer station with an internet connection in an airport office. The option remains to deliver the report to NAV CANADA by telephone, fax, etc... where a computer option is not available.
  • (6) TCCA is in the process of implementing a new globally harmonized methodology for runway condition assessment and reporting. This new methodology is called the Global Reporting Format (GRF) and is scheduled to be implemented by November 2020. In the interim, TCCA is making some minor changes to the AMSCR form which will assist in the transition to the new methodology. These changes will also assist air operators which are currently using GRF methods in the determination of aircraft performance.

4.0 Definitions

  • (1) The Aerodrome Safety Circular (ASC) 2001-011 — Introduction of the Proposed Regulation and Standards Concerning Airport Winter Maintenance and Planning – references the Notices of Proposed Amendments (NPAs) 2001-257 and 2001-258, which contain contaminant and other definitions. Some of these definitions are found in the CNPM and some are not. The CNPM also contains some definitions that were not in the NPAs but are used in international reporting vernacular. Appendix A contains all of the definitions in the NPAs and CNPM related to AMSCR reporting and identifies the commonality between the definitions. In some cases the wording is identical however in others it is different, but the intent of the definition is equivalent.

5.0 Validity

  • (1) NPA 2001-258 proposes that the airport operator provide an AMSCR at the commencement of the published reporting hours, following a significant change in conditions, and every 8 hours at a minimum during the published reporting hours. This effectively results in a maximum validity for a NOTAMJ of 8 hours. The airport operator should be submitting a new AMSCR that results in a new NOTAMJ at least every 8 hours when contaminants are present on the runway or cancelling the NOTAMJ.
  • Note: A NOTAMJ should not be issued if there is nothing adverse to report.
  • (2) For the purpose of managing the database, NAV CANADA will consider a NOTAMJ to have maximum validity of 24 hours (this is the ICAO Standard) and will cancel the NOTAMJ after 24 hours and remove it from the system.

6.0 Reporting Criteria

6.1 General

  • (1) In order to ensure the validity of the data being entered into the SNOWiz, each data field has a range of acceptable entries (parameters). This results in constraints for some of the items reported by the person inspecting the runway.

6.2 Contaminants/Conditions

  • (1) The list of reportable contaminants/conditions is as follows: bare and damp, bare and dry, bare and wet, compacted snow, compacted snow gravel mix, dry snow, dry snow over compacted snow, dry snow over ice, dry snow over slush, frost, frost over ice, ice, slush, slush over ice, standing water, standing water over ice, wet ice, wet snow, and wet snow over ice.
  • (2) Compacted snow patches, ice patches, frozen ridges and snow drifts are no longer included on the AMSCR form as reportable contaminants. These terms were removed due to uncertainty by air operators regarding interpretation of the term “patches” and because the terms do not relate to aircraft performance determination. However, due to the upcoming change to the Global Reporting Format scheduled to be implemented by November 2020, NAV CANADA is not in a position to modify the SNOWiz software to remove these terms as contaminants.
  • (3) In situations where these terms were previously used, airport operators should now use the following:
    • (a) instead of “ice patches”, use “ice” along with the corresponding percentage of coverage;
    • (b) instead of “compacted snow patches”, use “compacted snow” along with the corresponding percentage of coverage;
    • (c) instead of “frozen ridges” (previously defined as rough uneven ice surface like frozen water ripples), use “ice” along with the corresponding percentage of coverage;
    • (d) instead of “snow drifts” (previously defined as a heap or mound of snow created by action of the wind), use “dry snow” along with corresponding depth and percentage of coverage.

6.3 Percentage of Coverage

  • (1) The reporting of percent coverage is limited to increments of 5% (i.e. 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% and 100%) and the total coverage must add up to 100%.

6.4 Depth of Contaminant

  • (1) Inches and feet are to be used to report depths. Below 2 inches, the decimal values for 1/8”, 1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”, 1”, and 1½” are to be used: 0.13, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, and 1.5. Above 2 inches, whole values at 1 inch increments are used: 3”, 4”, 5”, 6”, etc.
  • (2) When the depth is variable, only one value may be entered and this should be the maximum depth. The remarks section may be used to report a range of values for depth.

6.5 The Number of Different Conditions That May Be Reported

  • (1) The SNOWiz limits the number of different runway conditions that may be reported on a runway to 3 types.
  • Note: The first and second issues of this AC referred to a limitation of 3 contaminants that may be reported as opposed to 3 conditions. As the condition “bare and dry” is not a “contaminant”, some RSC reports included “bare and dry” and 3 additional contaminant conditions – 4 conditions total. SNOWiz can accept 3 different conditions per runway.

7.0 Runway Lights and Snow Banks Beside Runway

  • (1) Both the AMSCR and the SNOWiz allow for the inclusion of information regarding snow banks beside the runway or information concerning the visibility of runway lights if the lights are partially obscured by snow.

8.0 Taxiways and Aprons

  • (1) Both the AMSCR and the SNOWiz allow for the reporting of conditions on taxiways and aprons.

9.0 Conclusion

  • (1) When the airport operator wishes to use a form to prepare inputs to SNOWiz, the airport operator should use the revised SNOWiz version of the AMSCR form.
  • (2) The revised AMSCR form is designed to reflect the changes in the Canadian NOTAM Procedures Manual. See Appendix A.
  • Note: The changes in the latest issue of the AMSCR form are the removal of the following terms from the list of contaminants: compacted snow patches, frozen ridges, ice patches and snow drifts. NAV CANADA is not in a position to update these changes in the SNOWiz software due to the upcoming implementation of the Global Reporting Format. However, these terms should not be used in the SNOWiz application.
  • (3) In order to foster efficiency and to limit possible errors, airport operators are requested not to customize the AMSCR form, in particular if the forms are being delivered by fax to the Flight Information Centres.
  • (4) For more information on the SNOWiz, please contact: the Customer Service Centre at NAV CANADA, 613-563-5588, service@navcanada.ca.

10.0 Information Management

  • (1) Not applicable.

11.0 Document History

  • (1) Advisory Circular (AC) 300-005 Issue 01, RDIMS 7595645 (E), 7595648 (F), dated 2012-09-21 – Changes to Runway Surface Condition Reporting.
  • (2) Advisory Circular (AC) 300-005 Issue 02, RDIMS 7595645 (E), 7595648 (F), dated 2012-11-24 – Changes to Runway Surface Condition Reporting.
  • (3) Advisory Circular (AC) 300-005 Issue 03, RDIMS 8137962 (E), 8137924 (F), dated 2013-02-05 – Changes to Runway Surface Condition Reporting.
  • (4) Advisory Circular (AC) 300-005 Issue 04, RDIMS 8221137 (E), 8516681 (F), dated 2013-07-12 – Changes to Runway Surface Condition Reporting.
  • (5) Advisory Circular (AC) 300-005 Issue 05, RDIMS 10534979 (E), 10535126 (F), dated 2015-04-21 – Changes to Runway Surface Condition Reporting.

12.0 Contact Office

For more information, please contact the appropriate TCCA Regional Office – Aerodromes at the following address:

https://tc.canada.ca/en/corporate-services/regions

Suggestions for amendment to this document are invited, and should be submitted via:

TC.FlightStandards-Normsvol.TC@tc.gc.ca

Original signed by Pierre Ruel for

Robert Sincennes
Director, Standards
Civil Aviation

Appendix A — AMSCR Form

Download the AMSCR form (PDF, from NAV CANADA)

 

Appendix B — AMSCR Form User Guide

Consult the marked AMSCR form (PDF, from NAV CANADA)

 

Consult the AMSCR form guidelines (PDF, from NAV CANADA)

 

 

 

 

Appendix C — Comparison of Transport Canada and NAV CANADA Terms

Term Transport Canada Canadian NOTAM Procedures Manual Glossary Comments
AMSCR or Aircraft Movement Surface Condition Report Means a report that details the surface conditions of all movement areas at an airport including runways, taxiways and aprons. The report that details the surface conditions for all aircraft movement areas including runways, taxiways and aprons. Nil
Bare and damp Means a surface condition that appears wet but the moisture depth cannot be readily determined. A surface condition that appears wet, but where the moisture cannot be readily detected. Nil
Bare and dry Means a surface condition that is not damp or wet, and has no observed contaminants. A surface condition that is not damp or wet, and has no observed contaminant. Nil
Bare and wet Means a surface condition where there is a thin layer of water and the layer is 3mm (1/8 inch) or less in depth. A surface condition where there is a thin layer of water and the layer is 3 mm (0.13 inch) or less in depth. Nil
Cleared width Means the narrowest portion of the runway width that has been cleared of loose contaminants. The width of the narrowest portion of a runway that has been cleared to the greatest extent possible of contaminants. Nil
Compacted snow Means snow that has been compressed into a solid mass that resists further compression. Snow compressed into a solid mass that resists further compression and holds together or breaks up into lumps if picked up. Nil
Contaminant Means material on a surface including standing water, slush, snow, compacted snow, ice or frost, sand and ice control chemicals. Material on a surface including water, slush, snow compacted snow, ice or frost. TC includes sand and ice control chemicals as contaminants.
CRFI or Canadian runway friction index Means the average of friction measurements taken on runway surfaces with freezing or frozen contaminants present, using a mechanical or electronic decelerometer. The average of the runway friction as measured by a mechanical or electronic decelerometer. Nil
Dry snow Not defined. Snow that is neither compacted on nor bonded to a surface, including fresh fallen or old standing dry snow. If compacted by hand, dry snow falls apart upon release. TC considers loose snow and dry snow to be equivalent.
Frost Means ice crystals formed from airborne moisture that has condensed on a surface whose temperature is below 0°C. Ice crystals formed from airborne moisture that has condensed on a surface whose temperature is below 0°C. Nil
Ice Means water that has frozen on a surface and includes the condition commonly known as “black ice” and the condition where compacted snow has turned into a polished ice surface. Water that has frozen on a surface and includes the condition commonly known as “black ice” and the condition where compacted snow has turned into a polished ice surface. Nil
Ice control chemicals Means chemicals used to prevent ice formation, to prevent ice from bonding to a surface or to break up or melt ice on a surface.(CHEM) Chemicals used to prevent ice formation, to prevent ice from bonding to a surface or to break up or melt ice on a surface.(CHEM) Nil
Loose snow Means fresh falling dry snow or drifting or old standing snow that is neither compacted on nor bonded to a surface. Not defined. TC considers loose snow and dry snow to be equivalent.
Percentage of contaminant Means the amount of each contaminant present on the estimated surface of the aircraft movement area and reported separately as a percentage (%) of the whole surface. The amount of each contaminant present on the estimated surface of the runways and reported separately as a percentage (%) of the whole surface. Nil
Runway Surface Condition” or “RSC” Means the portion of the AMSCR which reports the surface condition of the runway. The portion of the AMSCR which reports the surface condition of the runway. Nil
Sand Means small particles of crushed angular mineral aggregates or natural sand material used to improve runway surface friction levels. Small particles of crushed angular mineral aggregates or natural sand material used to improve runway surface friction levels. Nil
Significant change Means, with respect to runway surface condition includes but is not limited to: changes in type of contaminant, such as from dry snow to wet snow; measurable changes in depth of contaminant; following the application or removal of sand or chemicals; following snow removal or sweeping; changes in conditions caused by rapid increases or decreases in temperature. With respect to runway surface condition includes but is not limited to: changes in type of contaminant, such as from dry snow to wet snow; measurable changes in depth of contaminant; following the application or removal of sand or chemicals; following snow removal or sweeping; changes in conditions caused by rapid increases or decreases in temperature. Nil
Slush Means partially melted snow or ice, with a high water content, from which water can readily flow. Partially melted snow or ice, with a high water content, from which water can readily flow. Slush displaces with a splatter with a heel-and-toe slap down motion against the ground. Nil
Snow bank Not defined. A heap or mound of snow created mechanically that is higher than the surrounding snow cover.  
Standing water Means water having a depth of more than 3mm (1/8 inch). Water having a depth of more than 3mm (0.13 inch). Nil
Trace or TR Means the presence on a surface of a contaminant that can be visibly detected but cannot be readily measured. The presence of a surface contaminant that can be visibly detected but cannot be readily measured. Nil
Wet ice Not defined. Ice covered with a thin film of water.  
Wet snow Means snow that will stick together when compressed, but will not readily allow water to flow from it when squeezed. Snow that sticks together to form a snowball but does not readily allows water to flow from it when compressed by hand. Nil
Windrow Means a ridge of material, such as snow or gravel, created by airside maintenance equipment. A ridge of material, such as snow or gravel, created by airside maintenance equipment. Nil