Australian Airport Safety Week

Airports and aerodromes from across Australia and New Zealand will participate in Airport Safety Week, commencing Monday 14 October.

A partnership between the Australian Airports Association (AAA) and NZ Airports Association will see thousands of airport employees from more than 150 airports and aerodromes join in a wide range of activities.

Established in 2014, Airport Safety Week raises awareness of the importance of airport safety.

The 2019 theme of the week is ‘Our airport, our community’.

Airports will host a range of events based on the daily themes of human factors in safety, promoting a just safety culture, foreign object debris (FOD), wellness in the workplace and safety management systems.

Participants will look at how a wide range of roles contribute to safety, including biosecurity, customs and aerodrome reporting officers.

Organised tours of the airfield, air traffic control towers and aviation rescue firefighting stations will also be taking place.

AAA Chief Executive Officer, Caroline Wilkie, said the week would encourage those taking part to share knowledge as part of a strong health and safety culture at their airport.

“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,” Ms Wilkie said.

“Airport Safety Week gives all airport users the chance to work together to improve understanding and build collaboration on key safety issues.

“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.”

Highlighting the danger of foreign object debris

Airport Safety Week’s highly anticipated Foreign Object Debris (FOD) walk will take place on Wednesday 16 october, and is a particularly popular event for airports across the country.

Airport staff from all sectors of the business will join forces to collect FOD from the airfield to highlight an important part of an airport’s safety procedures.

Something as simple as a nut, coin or coffee cup, pieces of luggage through to larger items such as pavement fragments or aircraft parts can cause substantial damage if ingested by an aircraft.

FOD also poses a significant hazard to people working on the airfield, as it can be thrown at force by the jet blast of aircrafts.

At Darwin Airport, participants will walk along the airport’s aprons and taxiways picking up rubbish or other stray objects that may have the potential to be ingested in an aircraft engine and cause damage and the potential for injury to personnel.

Darwin Airport’s Director of Property and Operations, Ross Baynes, “Airport Safety Week gives us the opportunity to demonstrate to the community and travelling public our commitment and determination to maintain a safe environment for everyone.

“The annual FOD walk is a great opportunity to promote awareness of the safety risk foreign objects pose and how we can all work to minimise FOD and its effects.”

Other events on offer during Airport Safety Week include a Human Factors display, promoting a Safety Culture, a Mental Health First Aid workshop, spills training and a pre-cyclone season briefing.

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