We are in this together, for Airport Safety Week

Cessna 172N about to take-off at Cairns aerodrome. © Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Airport Safety Week kicks off today and, for the first time, we’re joining forces with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and Airservices Australia.

The safety week is run annually by the Australian Airports Association and the NZ Airports Association to encourage airports to take a moment to look at areas where safety can be improved and to delve into specific topics.

This year’s theme, ‘We are in this together’, focuses on the safety impacts of COVID-19 on airports, human factors, safety management systems (SMS) and wellness throughout the pandemic.

We will promote important messages about SMS for aerodromes, foreign object debris walks and the use of stop bars at major aerodromes to prevent runway incursions.

In August this year new aerodrome rules were implemented, aligning them with international standards and expanding the requirements of SMS. These changes mean some aerodromes will need to develop their first SMS and many existing aerodromes will need to review their SMS.

Last year the ATSB produced a booklet, Information and guidelines for aerodrome operators, containing advice for airport and aerodrome operators on what to do should an accident occur, along with information about the investigation process to help minimise disruption to airport operations.

Airservices is using this week to highlight the critical importance of aerodrome emergency plans and the collaborative role of its emergency management staff in reviewing and supporting improvements in this important area.