Airport Safety Week has kicked off for 2018, 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 15-19 and has the theme “Walk in My Shoes”.
AAA chief executive Caroline Wilkie said this year’s program included “something for everyone” from small regional airports to Australia’s major international gateways.
“It is important to recognise that every safety action has an impact on the whole airport, from airside, landside, or behind the scenes,” Wilkie said in a statement.
“This year’s theme ‘Walk in My Shoes’ is a great opportunity for employees to visit parts of the airport they wouldn’t usually see, or talk to staff working at the opposite end of the airport to discover more about the importance of safety planning and procedures.
“Airport Safety Week also provides an important message for the wider community and many airports will offer opportunities for visitors to get involved, such as open days and stalls.”
Photo gallery: Aviation Safety Week scenes from previous years (images from Australian Airports Association)
Aerodrome walk to occur on Wednesday
The highlight 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 17.
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 to raise awareness of the appropriate use and maintenance of such items in the aviation workplace.
Further, individual airports have planned their own activities relevant to their particular operation.
Airport Safety Week has set down a daily theme for the week, comprising:
- Monday 15 October – Promoting a Safety Culture
- Tuesday 16 October – Aerodrome Reporting Officers
- Wednesday 17 October – Foreign Object Debris (FOD)
- Thursday 18 October – Safety Management Systems (SMS)
- Friday 19 October – Ramp Safety and Ground Operations – A shared responsibility
“With thousands of airport employees taking part last year, we can expect similar this year with lots of activity across the country this October,” Wilkie said.
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.