Cordons: Military aircraft

Control Measure Knowledge

This control measure should be read in conjunction with Cordon controls and Make a safe and controlled approach to the incident


Specific cordon distances for military aircraft are imposed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for aircraft post-crash management (APCM) and are recommended for fire and rescue service initial response. These are:

  • All military aircraft: 400m
  • Military aircraft with ordnance: 800m

These initial cordons can be reduced in liaison with MoD aircraft post crash management incident officer (APCMIO), or equivalent specialist military adviser. For further information see Specialist advice: Military aircraft

For further information refer to Manual of Aircraft Post Crash Management (MPCM).

Aircraft assisted escape systems (AAES) 

If it is suspected that the aircrew intend to operate aircraft assisted escape systems (AAES), personnel should not approach the aircraft and should remain at least 15m away from the cockpit until the procedure has been completed, or the aircrew indicate that it is safe to approach. If this is not possible personnel should crouch below the line of the cockpit sill.

Explosive armament stores

The locations of explosive armament stores that have become detached should be marked and a cordon established. Specialist advice should be sought for their disposal.

Any explosive armament that is in danger of becoming heated by fires should be cooled with water sprays if safe to do so. On no account should any attempt be made to move, or tamper with, any potentially explosive devices.

Small arms and gun ammunition

The area directly in front of any weapon systems should be avoided and, if possible, the location of stored ammunition should be identified and avoided.

Infrared and laser guidance systems 

If the aircraft has infrared or laser guidance systems, personnel should not look into vision panels and should avoid the area in front of these devices.

Aircraft arresting systems

Personnel should avoid aircraft arresting systems until military advisers have made the area safe.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions