The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and Airservices Australia are working together in support of Airport Safety Week 2020, which runs across 19-23 October.
A collaboration between the Australian Airports Association (AAA) and the NZ Airports Association (NZ Airports), Airport Safety Week allows the aviation safety regulator, the independent transport safety investigator, and the air navigation service provider to amplify several areas of safety to influence airport operators and users.
While supporting this year’s theme which centres on maintaining airport safety and wellness through the COVID-19 pandemic and human factors in airport safety, the three agencies will also be highlighting the use of stop bars, runway incursion incidents, the importance of carrying out effective FOD inspections, and developing an effective Safety Management System (SMS).
In August this year, CASA made changes to the aerodrome rules to align them with international standards and expanded on the requirements of safety management systems. These changes mean some aerodromes will need to develop their first SMS and many existing aerodromes will need to review their SMS. CASA is sure the information provided throughout the week provide aerodromes with more information on how to create a SMS that meets the requirements of the aerodrome operation and regulations.
Last year the ATSB produced a publication to provide airport and aerodrome operators with advice on what to do should an accident occur, while providing a thorough understanding of the investigation process to help minimise disruption to airport operations.
Airport Safety Week 2020 is another opportunity to remind airport operators of three key responsibilities in the event of an aviation accident: respond, report and preserve. That is to respond with their aerodrome emergency plan, report the accident to the ATSB, and along with emergency services preserve the accident site. The booklet, titled Information and guidelines for aerodrome operators, can be found on the ATSB’s website.
Airservices Australia is using Airport Safety Week 2020 to highlight the criticality of Aerodrome Emergency Plans and the collaborative role Airservices emergency management staff can perform in reviewing and supporting improvements in this important area.
Many aerodromes across Australia have already benefitted from Airservices input and airport operators are being reminded that regardless of the size of the facility, Airservices expert safety advice is applicable to minimise the risk of safety occurrences in the aviation sector.