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Speeding on the FBO Ramp Can Be a Costly Proposition

Every year more than 27,000 ramp accidents are reported worldwide. Collectively, they cost an estimated $10 billion. The causes run the gamut from carelessness to not following standard operating procedures (SOPs), such as obeying ramp speed limits.

That is why it is important to follow established FBO industry best practices written in a user-friendly and teachable SOP format. Your SOPs are your standards for excellence and should cover all procedures in detail.

Remember, it is not the lions, tigers and bears that can cause the greatest concern in your operation. Instead, it is the little things — the gnats and mosquitoes — that will drive you crazy unless you have a plan in writing to control them. 

This means diving deep into the minutiae and creating something as basic as speed limit guidelines.

Here is what we recommend as a best practice when writing a company SOP for ramp speed limits:

  • Company employees must follow these ramp speed limits to ensure a safe operating speed is maintained while operating company equipment.
  • All ramp operations shall be conducted at the speed limits posted below. In the event that airport management has mandated a more stringent ramp speed limit, then the airport limits shall be observed.
    • Open ramp: 15 mph
    • Congested ramp: 10 mph
    • Within close proximity of aircraft (within 50 feet): 5 mph
    • Aircraft under tow: 5 mph
  • Personnel should adhere to the ramp speed limits when taxiing aircraft to and from the ramp areas.

As you can see, this is a straightforward guideline that is simple and easy to understand. Our advice: Do not overcomplicate your SOPs.

Please leave any comments you have about this blog post below. If you have any questions, please give us a call or send us an email:, 404-867-5518;, 972-979-6566.


John Enticknap has more than 35 years of aviation fueling and FBO services industry experience and is an IS-BAH Accredited auditor. Ron Jackson is co-founder of Aviation Business Strategies Group and president of The Jackson Group, a PR agency specializing in FBO marketing and customer service training. Visit the biography page or for more background.


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