Everyone has a role to play in keeping airports safe. From ground staff to operation and aircraft maintenance crews, tenants, contractors, airlines, passengers and the general public.
That’s the theme of this year’s Airport Safety Week, One Airport, One Team.
Now in its fourth year and running between 16-20 October, activities on Wednesday at Canberra Airport included an airside safety tour for Brindabella, Fairbairn and Majura business parks tenants.
During the tour Aviation Manager Gary McGivern said wildlife including wombats, foxes and long-legged wading birds known as ibises were potentially dangerous if they entered the airfield.
“If we think back to just a few years ago, a US Airways 1549 (A320 Aircraft) made an emergency landing in the Hudson River, New York,” he said.
“Both engines on the aircraft ingested a flock of Canadian Geese, which caused them to malfunction.”
For this reason, ground staff are vigilant about removing food scraps and other rubbish on the airfield.
“We would prefer it if our tenants and business/retail park users didn’t feed the birds and or leave food scraps lying around,” Mr McGivern said.
He also spoke of the dangers of foreign object debri (FOD) being on the airfield. This includes items like paper, cardboard, broken zips, baggage padlocks, stones and screws – all of which have the potential to damage aircraft.
The Civil Aviation and Safety Authority provided information on the safe operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also known as drones, at a lunchtime stall at Majura Park on Wednesday. Fortunately there hasn’t been a reported collision between a drone and manned aircraft in Australia to date.
OZ Help, an organisation that promotes mental health for men, was also there.
Airport Safety Week is an initiative of the Australian Airports Association, and is now recognised globally, with countries as diverse as Czechoslovakia, the United Kingdom and Canada holding similar weeks.