Simulator Training for Airport Drivers

The Micro Nav Airside Driver Trainer (ADT) simulator provides a safe, versatile, and dynamic 'hands-on' learning environment for airport driver training.

The ADT provides trainee drivers of inspection, service and push-back vehicles with competency-based training and validation to operate safely in specific airports. The simulator training system can be used for training with a range of different vehicle types, both civil and military aircraft types, and in demanding weather conditions such as low visibility. Airport drivers learn and can be tested in latest procedures, radio communications skills and emergency situations to attain current and expected regulatory training requirements.

The ADT helps to:

  • reduce vehicle runway incursions
  • increase safety
  • reduce the growing costs of vehicle/aircraft damage
  • minimise interruptions to airside operations

The ADT delivers training outcomes safely without tying up operational staff or airside vehicles in the live working environment. By practicing in various virtual scenarios, drivers gain essential skills and a familiarity with procedures and potential hazards that transfer quickly to their live airside working environment.

"Statistics show that most runway incursions occur in visual meteorological conditions during daylight hours; however, most accidents occur in low visibility or at night." -  ICAO Doc 9870 AN/463 'Manual on the Prevention of Runway Incursions' (2007).

Training Benefits

Real-time simulation is proven in aviation as a method of choice for training personnel in a low risk environment and at much lower costs and disruption than instruction whilst on-the-job in 'live' operational situations.

The benefits of the ADT include:

  • Drivers learn rules and radio procedures safely
  • Training covers risks not easily replicated on-the-job
  • Objective measurement of training, performance and competency
  • Facilitates digital record-keeping of drivers' training history
  • Training (both initial and recurrent) is standardised
  • High risk areas and situations can be highlighted in training scenarios
  • Fast familiarisation with new airport layouts
  • Generation of additional revenue from training and testing

Training Approach

The ADT simulator facilitates training for competencies that are in addition to basic driving/vehicle operational skills. Efficient and economic driver training can be delivered to trainees through real-time immersion in a compelling 3D airport simulation, with realistic aircraft, vehicles, weather, ground markings, signs and lighting.

A comprehensive airside driver training programme may include the following:

  1. Admin System - to help manage driver training programmes and driver permits/licensing (for both management, instructors and airport drivers)
  2. Self-teach Materials -  including computer or web-based learning (CBL/WBL) and interactive media (well-researched, creative educational materials)
  3. Traditional Teaching Methods - including 'chalk-n-talk' and other classroom (group) teaching activities
  4. Simulation - 'experiential' driver training and testing of competency, including exposure to out-of-the-ordinary situations
  5. 'Real-world' Airport Driving Experience - including 'buddy' experience in the live airside operational environment

The ADT constitutes a critical component in the overall driver training programme that can facilitate standardised competency-based training and testing.

Simulator Features

The ADT includes the following features:

  • Realistic, articulated 3D animated aircraft and vehicles
  • Accurate 3D airport models with runways, taxiways and apron areas with correct roadway markings, lighting and signage
  • Day, night, dusk, dawn, reduced visibility and adverse weather conditions
  • Instructor tools for exercise preparation and dynamic control of weather and traffic
  • Instructor tools for radio traffic with multiple frequencies and controllers
  • Standard PC platform gives low cost of ownership and upgrades
  • User training and full documentation
  • Software support and hardware warranty, with extended support options
  • Fast, affordable services for creating and updating airports, buildings and layout changes

Training Scenarios

The ADT can facilitate training for drivers in the following scenarios:

  • Inclement Weather & Time-of-day (Dawn, Day, Dusk, Night)
  • Low Visibility Operations
  • Heavy Traffic
  • Runway Crossings
  • Uncontrolled Crossings
  • Controlled Crossings
  • ILS Sensitive Areas
  • Vehicle Breakdown Procedures
  • Driver Lost Procedures
  • Radio-check Procedures
  • Radio Failure Procedures
  • Radio Frequency Switching
  • FOD Retrieval
  • Bird Scaring
  • Tug Driving - Aircraft Push-back and Towing
  • Routes and Procedures for Emergency Incidents (e.g. Aircraft Fires or Runway Excursions)

Simulator Specifications

The ADT includes:

  • High performance image generators delivering real-time 3D graphics using the latest PC video technology
  • Generous selection of aircraft and ground vehicle 3D models - additional models and liveries can be ordered
  • Instructor workstation with three displays showing views of the airport scenario and radio communications
  • Driver display with three large LCDs delivering bright images at a high resolution with wide fields of view
  • Options to integrate with Aircraft Marshalling Trainer (AMT) and/or BEST ATC 2D/3D Tower Simulator for team training

If you would like a detailed Product Specification please contact us and we will be happy to send you further information.

Airside Driver Trainer Video


Regulatory & Aviation Authority Publications

Click the links below to find out more.

UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

Civil Aviation Authority

Civil Aviation Publication (CAP) 790 "Requirement for an Airside Driving Permit (ADP) Scheme" was published on the 29th February 2012.

CAP 790 sets out the requirement for an Airside Driving Permit (ADP) Scheme and provides guidance as to how that scheme should be managed.

The ADT can be used to satisfy the course content guidance material for airside driver training outlined in CAP 790 Appendix B under the following headings:

  • 'M' permit (Manoeuvring Area excluding Runways)
  • 'R' permit (Manoeuvring Area including Runways)
  • Radiotelephony (RTF).

Practical competency-based training and assessment can be achieved using the ADT for 'M' and 'R' permit holders using simulated scenarios covering: pushback procedures, towing, runway access, RTF, airfield topography, emergency procedures and general airside driving.

In addition to the above, the ADT can assist with training and assessment for 'A' permits (Airside Roads and Aprons); for example, airport topography, airside traffic rules (including speed limits), hazards and emergency procedures.

CAP 790 includes 'Maintenance of Competence' guidelines, requiring airport owners to establish systems that ensure 'M' and 'R' permit drivers maintain their competence in driving rules, duties and procedures. Airport authorities may delegate this function to third party training providers, vehicle operators or other organisations.

The ADT facilitates recording of trainee performance, and provides a suitable audit trail for airport owners to check training records and driver assessments.

See the following links:
1. UK CAA CAP 790 (PDF)
2. UK CAA CAP 790 - 2nd Consultation Comment Response Document (PDF)



ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) "Manual on the Prevention of Runway Incursions". Doc 9870 AN/463 2007.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) defines a Runway Incursion as: 'Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft'.

See Document 9870 PDF from ICAO Website.



US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular (AC): 150/5210-20 (March 2008) "Ground Vehicle Operations on Airports".

US FAA AC: 150/5210-18A (Sept 2008) "Systems for Interactive Training of Airport Personnel".

See US FAA Website Regulatory & Guidance Library (RGL)

The FAA proposes to amend the airport certification standards in Part 139 and has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to this effect. This action would establish minimum standards for training of personnel who access the airport non-movement area (ramp and apron) to help prevent accidents and incidents in that area.

See Safety Enhancements Part 139 (Certification of Airports) Feb 2011 NPRM.


Eurocontrol        EAPPRI Edition 2

EUROCONTROL: "The European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Incursions" has recently been updated to edition 2 (EAPPRI 2).

Runway incursions remain a significant safety risk to aviation, and the number of reports is rising. From the reports that have been received, it is shown that there are at least two runway incursions every day in the European region, and accidents continue to take place on runways. Findings from those incident and accident reports have been used to determine the new recommendations contained in EAPPRI 2, which is built upon the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).

EUROCONTROL have also published a portal website containing training material focused on reducing the number of vehicle runway incursions.

See EUROCONTROL Runway Safety Homepage

See EUROCONTROL website for EAPPRI Edition 2.

Related Links & Publications

Click the links below to find out more, or download the pdf from the right hand menu. 

Ground Handling International

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Article: Aid Memoir

Ground Handling International published a safety and training article by Executive Editor Alwyn Brice in April 2011.

"...If evidence for this is required, we need only look to the statistics relating to runway incursions. Micro Nav has published a study that has been based on Mandatory Occurrence Reporting data provided by the UK's CAA Safety Regulation Group; it covers the
years 2004-2010 ...What conclusion can we draw here? The obvious one: more training,
especially in the realm of communications, has to be the way forward."

Reference: Ground Handling International April 2011 Issue 2 Volume 16 pp14-17.

See GHI Website for more information

International Airport Review

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Article: Driving Safety Forward

International Airport Review published an article in Dec 2010, Driving Safety Forward by Tony Heap, Strategy and Standards Officer in the Aerodrome Standards Department of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

"The CAP [790] contains examples of best practice currently used by industry that may help aerodrome operators to manage the scheme.

For example, reference is made in the structured training programmes to the use of technology for the delivery of training and assessment of the candidates.

The working group believes the use of this new technology provides the key to a robust training and assessment programme as well as providing an engaging and interactive training session for the participants."

Reference: International Airport Review (IAR) December 2010 Vol. 14 Issue 6 pp28-31.

See IAR Website for more information.

Janes Airport Review

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Article: Driving Down Runway Incursions

Jane's Airport Review published an article in July/August 2010 on improving training for airside drivers that features Micro Nav's ADT amongst other simulation training systems.

"The value of competency based training for airside drivers has been an overlooked topic in the past, but awareness has grown over recent years of the important role that well-trained vehicle operators can play in improving airside safety."

Reference: Jane's Airport Review (JAR) July/August 2010 Vol. 22 Issue 6 pp22-25.

See Jane's Airport Review for more information.

Journal of Airport Management

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Article: An analysis of the causes of airfield incursions attributed to ground vehicles

Journal of Airport Management, April-June 2009, Vol. 3, Number 3. "An analysis of the causes of airfield incursions attributed to ground vehicles." by Seth Young and Joost Vlek.

Young & Vlek Abstract:

In an effort to contribute to the identification and mitigation of safety risks on civil use airfields, this paper investigates the occurrence and probable causes of airfield incursions caused specifically by ground vehicle operations. Such operations were found to be responsible for nearly 20 per cent of all reported airfield incursions at airports within the USA. The research described in this paper investigated more than 2,000 individual airfield 'vehicle' incursions, as reported to the US Federal Aviation Administration, in an effort to identify their probable causes. Analysis of the data revealed that such incursions may be the result of four primary root causes: driver distraction, inadequate training, lack of situational awareness, or lack of proper communication. As a result of these findings, the authors suggest the targeted implementation of both improved training programmes and enhanced technologies to improve overall situational awareness while operating ground vehicles on an airfield. Proper implementation of technology and enhanced training programmes may be found to reduce these vehicle incursions and thus lead to improved airfield operational safety.

See Research Paper on the Henry Stewart Publications website

White Paper - Vehicle Runway Incursions

WP Runway Incursions
White Paper: Vehicle Runway Incursions in the UK 2004-2010

Records for vehicle runway incursions in the UK between 2004-2010 show a rise from a low in 2004 of 40 incidents annually to a marked increase in recent years.

This paper is a brief analysis of the annual incursion figures from MOR data provided by the UK Civil Aviation Authority SRG.

The main causes of vehicle runway incursions from a total of 424 incidents over the period 2004-2010 have been categorised.

External Website of Interest

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AirDAT is a unique web-based administration system with a focus on improving airside operating standards and safety, whilst decreasing admin costs and the amount of time required to manage and audit training systems.

Micro Nav is happy to provide training record data export from the ADT for integration with AirDAT's (and other) data management systems in order to facilitate record-keeping.

Micro Nav is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.