This is Airport Safety Week, an industry-led initiative designed to promote safety for all employees working at Australian airports – with special attention to avoiding striking birds and animals.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is concentrating on the risk of “wildlife strike” during Airport Safety Week, which runs until 21 October 2016.
ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood says wildlife strike statistics provide a reminder to aircraft and aerodrome operators to be aware of the hazards posed to aircraft by birds and non-flying animals.
“Occurrences involving aircraft striking wildlife remain the most common aviation occurrence reported to the ATSB,” Hood said. “Strikes with birds continue to be a significant economic risk for aerodrome and airline operators and a potential safety risk for pilots.”
Last year, 1775 wildlife strikes were reported to the ATSB, 97% involving birds.
Larger bird species and flocking birds have the potential to do the most damage to aircraft. Compared to birdstrikes, animal strikes are relatively rare. The most common animals involved are hares and rabbits, kangaroos, dogs/foxes and wallabies.
Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said Airport Safety Week, now in its third year, “offers airport operators and stakeholders an opportunity to engage with their employees on issues of airport safety, and to promote an ‘open conversation’ on how to continue building on safety initiatives.
“Safe working environments are essential to the effective running of transport hubs, and Airport Safety Week gives us the impetus to specifically focus on all things safety.
“Participants can take part in a range of events and activities centred on themes such as human factors, airside works, airside driving, environmental considerations and fatigue.
“In 2014, 74 airports and five corporate partners took part in Airport Safety Week.
“Last year, this number grew to 21 corporate members, 90 Australian airports, 13 New Zealand Airports and five international airports from the Czech Republic, Jordan, Malaysia, the Maldives and Zimbabwe.
“I am hoping to once again see a rise in participation for 2016 which I hope will support a decline in safety related incidents at Australian airports.
“I commend the Australian Airports Association and the NZ Airports Association for their efforts providing a fantastic forum for users to share information and innovations in the airport safety arena,” Chester said.
Edited by Peter Needham