Airport Safety Week has kicked off for 2019, with airports in Australia and New Zealand participating in a number of activities to promote a safe working environment for airport staff.
Established in 2014 as a partnership between the Australian Airports Association (AAA) and New Zealand Airports Association, this year’s event takes place from October 14-18 and has the theme “Our Airport Our Community”.
AAA chief executive Caroline Wilkie said Airport Safety Week helped improve understanding and build collaboration on key safety issues.
“Airports have a unique set of safety challenges, and the AAA is dedicated to ensuring the industry upholds the highest health and safety standards for everyone working at or visiting our airports,” Wilkie said in a statement on Monday.
“There are some great events taking place across Australia and New Zealand, providing staff and some members of the local community a unique insight into the safe operation of our airports.”
— Australian Airports (@AusAirports) October 13, 2019
One of the highlights of Airport Safety Week in previous years has been the foreign object debris (FOD) walk, where all airport staff and contractors, even those whose jobs do not require them to be airside, would be able to walk a section of the aerodrome to look for items such as small pieces of metal, luggage tags or other debris that could interfere with a flight taking off or landing. That event takes place on Wednesday October 16.
Further, individual airports have planned their own activities relevant to their particular operation.
In addition to “Our Airport, Our Community”, Airport Safety Week also had a set of daily themes, comprising:
Monday 14 October – Human factors in safety
Tuesday 15 October – Promoting a just safety culture
Wednesday 16 October – Foreign object debris (FOD)
Thursday 17 October – Wellness in the workplace
Friday 18 October – Safety management systems
Finally, Airport Safety Week features a competition, with airports able to win a FOD*BOSS aerodrome/airport sweeper valued at $8,000.
More details are available on the AAA’s Airport Safety Week website.
VIDEO: A promotional video of Airport Safety Week from the Australian Airports Association YouTube channel.
ATSB offers advice
Meanwhile, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has also made a contribution to Airport Safety Week with a new publication offering airport and aerodrome operators advice on what to do should an accident occur.
ATSB chief commissioner Greg Hood launched the Information and guidance for aerodrome operators booklet at Canberra Airport on Monday.
“Airport operators having a thorough understanding of the role of the ATSB and the investigation process in the event of an aviation accident will help minimise disruption to airport operations,” Hood said in a statement.
“This Airport Safety Week we are reminding airport operators of three key responsibilities in the event of an aviation accident: respond, report and preserve.
“Respond with their aerodrome emergency plan, report the accident to the ATSB, and along with emergency services preserve the accident site.”
Hood noted critical evidence could be located some distance from the main accident site and spread over a very large area.
“So it is imperative that all first responding agencies and airport operators proactively preserve all evidence at an accident site until our investigators arrive,” Hood said.
“This will greatly assist our investigators in their task of determining the factors that contributed to the occurrence.”
The booklet can be found on the ATSB website.