The Airport Operators Association (AOA) launched its third annual UK Airports Safety Week, on Monday 14 May.
Supported by the Civil Aviation Authority, the aim of AOA’s national event is to engage, inspire and educate all those who travel or work within aviation about the safety culture and philosophy within the UK’s airport sector.
“UK Aviation safety is among the best in the world, thanks to the hard work of everyone working in and around our airports. AOA UK Airports Safety Week will bring all this behind-the-scenes work out into the open, demonstrating to the public and airport users how we have created the safety culture that has led to our excellent track-record,” said Karen Dee, AOA’s CEO.
Airports throughout the UK will run multiple events throughout the week to raise awareness of how safety affects everyone within the airport environment, whether you are a passenger, airport or ground handler or staff member of an airline.
It is also hoped that the myriad of activities organised throughout the week will demonstrate how safety within airports is the responsibility of many individuals and teams from the air traffic controllers and cabin crew to staff working within airport terminals.
East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Southampton airports are all holding fire service open days and demonstrations. Meanwhile, Belfast City and Belfast International are among several airports organising runway and airfield walks to look for Foreign Object Debris (FOD). Elsewhere pushback tug demonstrations will take place at Edinburgh Airport and London Luton is using virtual reality to showcase how it can identify hazards on an aircraft stand.
Glasgow Airport is also running drop-in sessions on how to prevent disruptive passenger behaviour and ensure responsible alcohol consumption. And several airports, including Doncaster Sheffield, are hosting visits from local schools.
At Birmingham Airport, some of the activities planned for staff include airside driving and marshalling awareness tasks, aircraft pushback demonstrations, safety quizzes and presentations on the importance of occupational health.
For the public there will be terminal activities and competitions, liquid preparation advice for passing security along with pop-up safety information stands.
Bob Graham, Operations Director at Birmingham Airport, said: “Health and Safety is vitally important to the running of the airport and departments from across the site strictly follow policies and practices to ensure the highest safety standards are met.
Explaining how this year’s theme for the safety week is ‘Leading the way in airport safety’, Roger Koukkoullis, AOA’s operations and safety director revealed that: “UK airports are able to lead the way through working collaboratively across the whole airport, thus creating a culture that puts safety first.”
Koukkoullis concluded that with UK airports catering for record numbers of passenger traffic, the safety week is “an opportunity to demonstrate how the sector is not only working for the safety of passengers and staff today, but also preparing for the future.”