Typically in the United States, any surface operations below 1200 ft. Runway Visual Range (RVR) generally encourage the airport authority to have an approved Low Visibility Operations / Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (LVO/SMGCS) plan which specifies certain markings, signs, lighting, and controls in the airport movement area. Operations below 600 ft. RVR, or 500 ft. RVR under U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 8000.94 enablement, require additional infrastructure in movement and non-movement areas and may also require Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE or ASDE-X) or a suitable substitute1 to allow the ground controllers to adequately monitor surface traffic. Surface operations below 300 ft. RVR are generally precluded (or need extra controls such as the use of a “follow-me” truck).
The operational concepts described in this paper show how using on-board systems based on synthetic and enhanced vision systems may substitute for or augment an airport’s existing infrastructure. These on-board systems along with proper additional mitigations under the LVO/SMGCS concept of Protected Low Visibility Taxi Routes (PLOVTR) would enable an appropriately equipped aircraft and qualified crew to safely taxi in low visibility conditions.