Airport aprons and runways are unique places to work. The lists of potential hazards are many and varied and include taxiing aircraft, slips and trips, noise, manual handling and jet blast to name but a few. So it follows that there will be relevant certification to ensure operators and vehicles are safe and compliant.

To be legally eligible to drive on the roads, a car must have a valid MOT, appropriate tax  issued by the DVLA and insurance. Similarly,  machinery and vehicles operating at an airport must have the requisite licences and an Airside Vehicle Permit. According to the UK governing body the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the responsibility for safety in these unique areas lies firmly at the door of senior personnel and airport managers.

What are Airside Vehicle Permits and why are they important?

An Airside Vehicle Permit means the vehicle itself, not just the operator, must have a valid licence and be deemed ‘airside-legal’ before it can be used airside. The Civil Aviation Authority sets the following five requirements into law:

UK – CAA – Easy Access Rules for Aerodromes (Regulation no: 139) vehicle standards 

(1) condition and maintenance standards agreed at the aerodrome, and/or national level

(2) the requirement to display obstruction lights and company insignia 

(3) the requirement for, and content of, daily vehicle inspections

(4) agreed standards of aerodrome and company vehicle fault reporting and rectification

(5) local requirements for the issue and display of airside vehicle permits

The legal requirements for permits, defect reporting and operating procedures form the basis of AIRDAT’s Onboard system. Here, we outline five ways that working with AIRDAT could help senior airport personnel to oversee the airside vehicle permit process and ensure compliance for all airside vehicles.

1. AIRDAT’s Onboard system can ensure valid insurance

Staying compliant and ensuring all of your vehicles and operators have the right permits, the right checks, the right insurance is no mean feat. In fact, left solely down to an individual user, it’s possible to tick 90% of the right boxes but leave something – such as the right type of insurance – outstanding, meaning the permit isn’t valid and the airport is now liable for any incident. Take the pressure off hard-working staff and don’t leave certification down to chance. AIRDAT’s Onboard system streamlines the process and ensures that every single t is crossed and i dotted before sign off is given.

What’s more, for vehicles operating on private roads, Onboard can connect with local licensing APIs to record and return detailed vehicle data (including details such as valid insurance status and Co2 output for carbon monitoring). This removes the possibility of error in the manual data entry process. (Note: this capability is dependent on the country). 

2. AIRDAT can automatically generate valid permits

As we’ve stressed time and again safety is paramount in an airport setting and to that end both users and vehicles may require multiple permits and licences for the requirements of the job at hand. Add to this the fact that there are varying application rules for each licence and it’s easy to see why the potential for human error is high. AIRDAT’s Onboard system can manage the differing rules and automatically generate permits when all boxes are ticked – there’s even a “self-printing” option for users that can be enabled if required. Onboard has been used to manage Landside Licences and Concession Card Schemes at airports too.

3. Onboard can manage impound and defect reporting

The traditional way of flagging defects is to fill in long, paper forms and wait for them to be passed up the chain of command until they reach the relevant authority. Onboard’s defect reporting system allows users to easily and immediately flag any defects that require a resolution. Managing parties can issue fines for lack of compliance from users to ensure that no one skips this vital step. Onboard also allows the configuration of Impounding Schemes which will help to enforce the highest vehicle standards. 

4. AIRDAT’s Onboard system retains extensive vehicle information

Alongside all of the relevant permits required for a vehicle to operate airside there are the usual list of vehicle requirements such as TAX, MOT, and required repairs. With Onboard, any outstanding or expiring certificates are automatically flagged to both the vehicle driver and the overseeing manager with enough notice to ensure compliance is maintained. Not only this but it’s also easy to report issues or defects and staff can see warnings or necessary actions at a glance.

5. AIRDAT’s VISA app gives you complete control from your device

The AIRDAT VISA app gives you a complete overview into all of your airport operations at the touch of a button (or, more accurately, the swipe of a finger). The app incorporates all of the information from Fleet, Assurance and Training in one easy-to-use and intuitive app. If you’re in charge of the airside vehicle permit process then you’ll likely feel like you need to be in two places at once – one at your desk with access to all the relevant records and two on the airport apron with the vehicles in front of you. The VISA app allows you access to the entirety of your Fleet information from your handheld device. The detailed reporting means that users can see at a glance:






Registration plate


In fact, a simple scan of a relevant QR code can make this process even more effortless. The system also keeps track of every single interaction with this information meaning you have everything you need in the event of an audit. 

For an added security bonus, VISA also integrates with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) so security teams will immediately know who they’re dealing with.

The final word

At AIRDAT, we pride ourselves on our agility. We’re always looking to modernise, simplify and streamline airport processes to make it easier for our customers to maintain or improve their standards of compliance. Each of our systems integrate with other processes and systems to make the job of a permit manager as straightforward as possible.

Want to know more about what we do and how we can help you to manage your airside vehicle permitting process? Get in touch with a member of our dedicated team today.