Thornton: CMA violation is unacceptable

  • Published
  • By Col. William Thornton
  • 412th Test Wing
Since completion of Edwards' inside runway, controlled movement area violations have occurred at an unacceptable rate. During the first quarter of 2009, Edwards has averaged one incursion every 18 days.

This staggering statistic was recently emphasized at my last commander's call. A CMA violation immediately results in the suspension of the individual's airfield driving privileges. 

The airfield driving program is currently under revision, but in all cases of CMA violations, the individual must re-accomplish the airfield driver's training course in its entirety before the privileges are re-instated. This may seem a little severe, but explaining an aircraft and vehicle incident on Edwards is not something we want to see on the news.

So far, we've been lucky. No one has been killed, and we have yet to have any aircraft damaged. Being lucky isn't good enough because at some point our luck will run out. It's not a matter of "if," but "when."

Assumptions have no place within the CMA. Either you know you have permission from the Edwards Air Traffic Control tower to be in the controlled movement area or you don't. If in doubt, ask. If you still have doubts, ask again. If you are on a large piece of concrete or asphalt that is wider than a normal road, you probably shouldn't be there.

Airfield Management is always available to assist if you need help or don't know where you are.

The following are some things to remember when operating on the airfield, and specifically, the Controlled Movement Area: 

1. Be alert. Aircraft have the right of way over everything except emergency vehicles. 

2. Use proper phraseology over the radio. Do not use the words "Clear," "Cleared," "Clearing" or "Go Ahead" on the radio. Remember, the correct phraseology for the airfield is not the same as talking on a citizens band radio. 

3. Know where you are at all times. Violations often occur because the individual thought they were somewhere else on the airfield. 

4. Ensure your credentials, such as Air Force Form 1199, AF Form 483 and vehicle passes, are up to date prior to proceeding on the airfield. A large red and white sign is posted on the right side of the gate entering the airfield, which identifies the required credentials. 

Be safe when operating within the CMA. Know your procedures, location and surroundings. Reducing the number of CMA violations and incursions is our primary focus, but more importantly, we'd like to see everyone back at work tomorrow. Let's work as a team and make the Edwards flightline a safe and enjoyable place to work.