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ASEL-Airport Operations (Pvt, Comm'l, ATP) (print friendly)
1 Credit for Basic Flight Topic 3
Activity Number:


Name:  ASEL - Airport Operations

-- (Pvt, Comm’l, ATP)

Revision:  June 2019

1. BACKGROUND – This flight activity is designed to help the pilot attain an understanding of the risks associated with traffic rules, traffic control procedures, traffic advisory services, navigation aids, traffic pattern procedures, landing aids, surface navigation, and is intended to reinforce a strong foundation of basic information and operating techniques regarding the safe operation of aircraft at towered and nontowered airports and reducing the hazards associated with runway incursions.

In this Activity the airman and instructor will discuss, and airman will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of standard runway and taxiway markings; airport lighting; control tower and radar facilities operation / use; the methods used for safely adjusting the flow of air traffic at and near airports; the major traffic services available, navigation aids, landing approach aids that are available, and surface navigation at their home airport as well as at the busier terminal areas.  It is essential that the airman learn the traffic rules, traffic control procedures, traffic advisory services, navigation aids, traffic pattern procedures, landing aids, surface navigation, and general operating rules for all airports.  The importance of thorough knowledge and faultless technique and judgment cannot be overemphasized.

2.  WINGS FLIGHT ACTIVITY WORKSHEET - This worksheet is designed to assist the flight instructor and the airman in preparing for this WINGS flight activity by focusing on the processes and procedures, specific Airman Certification Standards (ACS) benchmarks, goals, and learning objectives of the WINGS Activity.  With the introduction of this flight activity worksheet, the FAASTeam is encouraging the use of Learner Centered Assessment based upon the FAA-Industry Training Standards (FITS).  Previous syllabi and curriculum have depended on a grading scale designed to maximize student / airman management and ease of instructor use. Thus the traditional: “excellent, good, fair, poor” or “exceeds standards, meets standards, needs more training” often meet the instructor’s needs but not the student / airman.  Learner Centered Assessment is a way for the instructor and student / airman to determine the student / airman’s level of knowledge and understanding.  While the FAASTeam is encouraging the use of Learner Centered Assessment, traditional grading scales can continue to be used. 

a.  What is the purpose of airman assessment?  Effective student / airman assessment practices should provide accurate, meaningful and consistent communication to the student / airman about what the airman is able to do as a result of their flight experiences.

b.  Why is the FAASTeam working to improve our assessment practices? The intent of the Learner-Centered Assessment initiative is to provide accurate, meaningful and consistent communication to airmen about airman learning. Additionally, our intention is to engage in best practices, which are supported by years of educational research. This research has shown that when Leaner-Centered Assessing is done with fidelity, it is one of the highest leverage strategies for improving airman achievement.   Effective student / airman assessment practices should provide accurate, meaningful and consistent communication to the student / airman about what the airman is able to do as a result of their flight experiences.

c.  What is Learner Centered Assessment?  Learner-Centered Assessment is a model reflective of standards-based assessment, which aligns feedback on proficiency levels to established Airman Certification Standards (ACS) or Airman Practical Test Standards (PTS) benchmarks. The assessment will be conducted independently by the student / airman and the instructor, then compared during the post flight critique.  In this model, student / airman and instructors are held accountable for the essential learning defined in the ACS / PTS benchmarks.  This work proposes a method for assessing student / airman performance that provides feedback to student / airman based on ACS / PTS standards of learning dictated by clearly delineated outcomes.  By means of this methodology, student / airman are equipped with increased levels of information obtained from assessments, both formative and summative.  As the assessment is progressive, students / airman and instructors alike can more accurately diagnose strengths and weaknesses in learning down to the root level of the concept(s).  Since this WINGS flight activity is learner centered, the success of the activity is measured in the desired student / airman outcomes for the Flight Maneuvers (FM) Tasks Grade and the Single Pilot Resource Management Grade (SRM) described and located at the bottom of the Flight Activity Worksheet.

d.  What is different as a result of the implementation the Learner-Centered Assessment model?

  • Demonstrated mastery of the established ACS / PTS benchmarks.
  • Accurately reflect the students / airman reflection of ACS / PTS benchmark mastery.
  • Give very clear expectations (airmen know where they are and where they need to go).
  • Allow for more individualized learning (no penalty for fast or slow learning).
  • Allow the student / airman to keep working on a skill until they get it (get help and schedule a retake).
  • Allows every student / airman to be an expert at a certain skill (no more “I’ve always been a C student.”).
  • Moves the focus away from grades and towards learning.

e.  How will this change in student / airman assessment philosophy impact the airman?  Student / airman will understand what they are expected to learn, and they will receive regular feedback on the progress of their learning in regard to the established ACS / PTS benchmarks. In the Learner-Centered Assessment model the instructor determines what needs to be taught in regard to the ACS /PTS benchmarks, instructs, assesses informally, reinstructs, and re-assesses informally until there is evidence that the airman is prepared to be formally assessed.

WINGS Flight Activity #A100125-07 Worksheet

ASEL - Airport Operations ASEL

(click on the above link for the Worksheet)

3. OBJECTIVE – To develop, review, or improve the airman’s knowledge, airmanship and understanding the importance of knowing and abiding by the rules and general operating procedures applicable to the airport being used as well as that in busier airport terminal areas in order to keep air traffic moving with maximum safety and efficiency.  The emphasis is on improving aeronautical decision making and using knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with preparing for safe flight accounting for pilot, aircraft, environment, and external factors.


  • Preflight – a discussion between the airman and instructor must take place that covers the type of aircraft used for this flight activity to include, but not limited to, aircraft performance expectations using the manufacturer’s recommended procedures, including airplane configuration and airspeeds, emergency procedures, and other information relevant to takeoffs, landings and go-arounds using the FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual and/or Pilot’s Operating Handbook (AFM/POH) for that aircraft..  The airman must understand the recommended operating procedures, performance capabilities and approved limitations of the aircraft being used for the flight activity.  Additionally, the discussion will include collision avoidance, traffic rules, traffic control procedures, traffic advisory services, navigation aids, traffic pattern procedures, landing aids, surface navigation, and the scenario for the flight.  The airman and instructor will brief aircraft status, flight/practice area as applicable, that the airman is PIC unless otherwise agreed (or limited by airman certificate), the transfer of controls, emergency procedures and risk management. 
  • Flight – must include selected tasks from the Preflight Procedures, Airport Operations and Postflight Procedures Area of Operation as described in the Airman Certification Standard (ACS) listed below in the topic(s) determined to be the primary accident causal factor for a particular category and class of aircraft.  While Preflight Procedures, Airport Operations and Postflight Procedures are the primary Area of Operation, other Areas of Operations such as Takeoffs, Landings and Go-Arounds, etc., are also a significant part of this Activity.
  • Post Flight – Review the elements of the flight scenario and the scenario outcome, compare the airman’s performance to the completion standards - independently the airman and instructor will evaluate the tasks in the scenario and discuss and compare each of your opinions of the results of the tasks and the activity. Make recommendations for further training as required, and validate WINGS Basic Flight Activity upon satisfactory completion.


  • While this WINGS Flight Activity targets specifically the ACS Preflight Procedures, Airport Operations, and Postflight Procedures Areas of Operation, the Airman should satisfactorily demonstrate all pertinent parts of the ACS in their Preflight, Flight, and Post Flight activities consistent with their certificate or rating.
  • FOR WINGS CREDIT: Successful completion of this WINGS Activity will ensure the airman possesses the knowledge, ability to manage risks, and skills consistent in the performance of the ACS Preflight Procedures, Airport Operations, and Postflight Procedures Area of Operation to the ACS completion standards using all available visual references, navigation aids and flight instruments for the privileges of the certificate or rating being exercised in order to act as Pilot-in- command (PIC).



Airmen may use an FAA-qualified and approved flight simulator or flight training device to complete certain flight task requirements when authorized by the applicable Airman Certification Standards (ACS) or Practical Test Standards (PTS).  

14 CFR part 61, section 61.4, Qualification and approval of flight simulators and flight training devices, states in paragraph (a) that each full flight simulator (FFS) and flight training device (FTD) used for training, and for which an airman is to receive credit to satisfy any training, testing, or checking requirement under this chapter, must be qualified and approved by the Administrator.

 Advisory Circular (AC) 61-136A, FAA Approval of Aviation Training Devices and Their Use for Training and Experience, provides information and guidance for the required function, performance, and effective use of ATDs for pilot training and aeronautical experience (including instrument currency). 

It is recommended that applicants who intend to take credit for time in a BATD or an AATD towards the aeronautical experience requirements for the private pilot certificate obtain a copy of the LOA for each device used so they have a record for how much credit may be taken.


  • For this Activity, Bold Areas of Operations in the following ACS

 are required Demonstration for WINGS Credit


Flight – perform the applicable tasks from the Private Pilot - Airplane Airman Certification Standards (FAA-S-ACS-6A, Change 1):




  • Communications, Light Signals, and Runway Lighting Systems
  • Traffic Patterns











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