Airport Safety Week has kicked off for 2016, with airports in Australia and New Zealand joined by counterparts in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America participating 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 17-21 and involves about 150 airports.
“Airport Safety Week brings together airport and aviation industry operators at our largest international gateway airports and some of our smallest regional aerodromes to strengthen safety awareness for people working in airport environments,” AAA chief executive Caroline Wilkie said in a statement.
Events that took place in the previous two years and are also planned for 2016 include a 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.
And airport workers will also be encouraged to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as high-vis vests or ear muffs, to work on one day of Airport Safety Week and participate in “team gathering” activities.
Individual airports have also planned their own activities relevant to their particular operation.
“The team gathering offers an opportunity to discuss topical safety issues in a collaborative environment, while the ever popular FOD Walk and Wear PPE to Work Day encourage people to take a hands-on approach to safety and recognise that everyone has a role to play,” Wilkie explained.
“We understand the limitations on airports and other businesses and encourage everyone to participate in any way they can. Every activity, no matter the scale, goes some way to improving safety awareness and that’s what Airport Safety Week is all about.”
More information can be found on the Airport Safety Week website. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), ISS, and Sydney Airport are sponsors of Airport Safety Week.
Meanwhile, the Airport Safety Week award winners for 2016 were announced on Monday, where airports were recognised for their work in improving safety.
The awards are broken down into three categories – individual, team and project.
For airport safety projects, Barrow Island Airport (regional airport) won for a project that supported the introduction of a new airport management company and ground handling services provider, while among metropolitan airports Moorabbin in Melbourne was recognised for its initiatives to improve runway safety.
Also, Sydney Airport won in this category for major airports its incident and emergency management strategy, which uses new tools, technology and initiatives, as well as more collaboration with stakeholders, to improve safety. The airport is also building a new operations centre.
In the individuals category, Alice Springs Airport’s facilities manager Greg Picken’s won the award for regional airports for his work to improve the design, accessibility and lighting for hanging walkways used by contractors in the airport’s roof space. For major airports, Adelaide Airport’s ground transport customer service officer Kym Littler won for his “proactive contribution to the workplace safety culture and in particular his maintenance and cleaning project for wheelchairs that are provided for customers using the airport”.
And Perth Airport received the team award for its airfield electrical team responsible for delivering the $36 million CAT III instrument landing system upgrade.