Breaking Down the Silos on Safety
A lack of cooperation between people on the ground and people in the towers can cause fatalities, said Moderator Bongani Maseko, CEO, Airports Company South Africa, at the Breaking Down the Silos on Safety session. "At one time, we did not talk directly to pilots." They were known as the invisible partners, he said. Thankfully, things have changed and now we all try to work together in this congested space. But, making the merge isn’t easy.
Rob Eagles, Director Air Traffic Management, IATA, said, "I think we’ll all agree that we do have silos in our industry.... But, it is absolutely critical that we learn to work together as stakeholders. And we have to be careful not to add new silos." Eagles specifically addressed the risks associated with RPAS/UAS/drones, stressing the need to address safety risks related to "irresponsible users."
Andrella Kenner, Founder & President, CI2 Aviation, talked about runway safety. "A failure to deliver safe runway operations is almost always catastrophic," she said. She stressed the importance of situational awareness and having a checklist every day.
Dirk Geukens, Senior Safety Expert, Brussels Airport, discussed apron safety collaboration. "Most of the damages to aircraft are when they are parked and handling activities are going on," he explained. Coordination is very important in these busy, congested areas. One of the ways they addressed this? Safety Committees. "One of the major pillars of a safety management program is having safety committees," he said. They have an apron safety committee called BRUTuS (BRUssels Turnaround Safety TF) that has the objective of analyzing and documenting every apron operation.
Eduardo Angeles, Associate Administrator of Airports, FAA, commented on the discussion points brought up by the other panel speakers, as well as gave a summary of some of the items on the FAA "to do" and "done" lists. He explained that UAS was a number one issue around the world at the moment. Also, "We did a runway safety program... that was extremely successful" and took place over 15 years. And, they are in the process of "investing a lot of money into about what causes runway incursion and mitigation."