COVID Causes Cold HOTs to Halt

COVID Causes Cold HOTs to Halt

  • October
  • 28
  • 2021
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

Despite COVID, you can't convince me to peel my nose off the passenger window of the airliner as we approach POWDR at FL230 on the arrival to Denver. The awe of the view of the fresh coat of snow on Mount Sherman still shadowing the Leadville airport (KLXV) distracts me as my nose touches most of the surface area of window due to the typical turbulence in this area. I see a jet parked at the FBO and wonder if the crew has reviewed the latest winter operations best practices and changes the FAA recently published for this winter season.

At Advanced Aircrew Academy, we just released our 2021-2022 Winter Operations / Surface Contamination module. What's new in the eLearning module this year? Although not affecting most business aviation operators since holdover times are advisory only, it is interesting to note that COVID impacted this year's Holdover Time Tables (HOT). The very cold snow testing program which is normally performed in Montreal Canada was not conducted. As a result, testing for fluids was not completed and generic HOTs in snow below -14º C are being used for this Winter 2021-2022 HOT publication.

The FAA has published Information for Operators (InFO) 21004 on Updates to "Cold Temperature Restricted Airports" Program. The FAA no longer publishes the Notice to Airmen Publication (NTAP). As a result, the FAA published the Cold Temperature Airport (CTA) procedure information in Section 3 of Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). The Leadville, CO airport is not on this year's CTA list, but 11 other Colorado airports are.

Hopefully the airplane you are flying has a temperature compensation (Temp Comp) feature in the FMS to make the adjustments easy, but you still need to know when and where to use it. Pro Tip – look for the snowflake icon or limitation note on the instrument approach chart. The rest of the world is now transitioning to the use of Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM) and Runway Condition Codes (RwyCC) with the ICAO implementation of Global Reporting Format (GRF). We are very familiar with those standards as we have been using them in the United States since 2016. Just note that outside the U.S., you will find SNOWTAMs rather than Field Condition (FICON) NOTAMS.

Ready to practice your HOT and CTA determination skills? Enroll in our Winter Operations / Surface Contamination module to learn about all the updates for this winter season.