Airport Ramp Safety

Developing a Safety Culture @ Airport Ramps

Ramp safety is a major safety concern in the aviation industry. Obviously so because the airport's ramp area involves a gargantuan of activities and movements from various aircraft, vehicles, equipment and people. Moreso, it accommodates personnel and contractors from different players like airport operations and maintenance staff, airport police, fire brigade, airport and airline engineers, planners and other regulatory and security personnel - all performing different activities and tasks everyday.

A large chunk of the industry's loss and expenses can be attributed to accidents and incidents in this very dynamic, complex and intensely busy area of the airport wherein which majority of these incidents are caused by human errors.

Ramp accidents are considered one of the major problems in the industry and a major concern all airports are taking seriously nowadays. Based on my readings, experts believe that there is an estimate of more than $5 billion a year airline loss brought about by ramp damage, typically caused by collision between ground service vehicles and parked aircraft. Accidents like this causes more than damage to aircraft because it can also result to delayed flights, at the worst cancelled flights which is can further result to lost ticket revenue, cost for passenger accommodation and additional cost for overtime repairs.

According to the May 2007 issue of Aerosafety World, the Flight Safety magazine based their report from the International Air Transport Association estimating that there were twenty-seven thousand ramp accidents each year wherein which 240,000 people were injured. Such numbers caused an alarming concern in the aviation industry. However, some contest that the figures are not accurate since some incidents that which are minor and not damaging are not reported.

Not only are ramp workers/personnel involved in these huge number but also flight crew and passengers. Ramp accidents vary and range from ordinary to serious and dangerous. All these can be primarily attributed to human error. Further IATA says that about 92% of these incidents resulted from failure to follow standard procedures, lack of proper and adequate training and airfield congestion.

(image embedded from blogspot on 06/09/2011)

(Video embedded from YouTube on 06 Sept 2011)

Airlines and airport authorities and other stakeholders and players form part of the Airport Ramp Safety Group that aims to identify hazards and create a better and safe work environment at all airports, vis-a-vis its primary goal is "to prevent injuries and reduce the millions of dollars lost each year to ramp damage."

There have been a lot of major modifications in airport ramp management initiated by airports these days and more are coming to avoid not only minor but moreso, major accident as well. By the collaborative efforts of concerned entities and players in the industry, this major concern will be reduced dramatically, if not eliminated, in the coming years - thereby creating a much safer culture at all airport ramps.

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