Staying Safe

Sept. 1, 2003
September 2003
This is the time of year when everyone says, "What happened to summer? It's too early to be looking ahead to the fall. I'm not ready." Well, it is that time of year when we need to be gearing up for winter and all of its trappings. Deicing equipment/product suppliers, I know, can't wait, but for the rest of us, winter season usually means inclement weather and increased passenger and cargo traffic through the holidays. Staying safe on the ramps and runways is the topic of our cover story this month and while there is good news from the FAA that incursion incidents have dropped, it is still important to stay diligent while maneuvering the myriad of equipment and people that have to make things happen effectively and efficiently everyday. Hopefully, everyone who has any function on the ramp is being properly trained in how to use the equipment, as well as how to get that equipment from point A to point B without incident. For more details on how you can better prepare yourself for operating on ramps and runways, please see our cover story on page 16. The combination of our population getting older and low-fare carriers offering great deals on ticket prices means that there are more "special needs" persons - those who require extra help getting to and from the plane - as passengers. Our profile on those who provide equipment for special needs passengers begins on page 20. You may want to have a read to see if your operations are in compliance in this area with respect to the FAA Advisory Circular that went into effect as of December 2002 regarding specifications for devices used to board airline passengers with mobility impairments. This month, we also cover safety from another angle - emergency first aid. The ramp and its environs offer a lot of opportunity for accidents and injuries - jet engines, propellers, moving vehicles, baggage handling, and fueling activity - coupled with all of the people necessary to complete tasks during a day's operation - means everyone needs to be alert. When that doesn't happen, emergency first aid needs to be administered. Does your operation or airport have an emergency first aid plan? Staying safe in business can also transcend to the diversification of operations. Richard Rowe's profile on German manufacturers of GSE highlights how strength in depth can help companies rise above downturns in the market. So, how can you stay safe? With airlines still sharpening their pencils, and training or other educational experiences usually get line item vetoed when it comes to budgets. But, this doesn't mean that learning a new skill or enhancing what you already know has to stop. Keeping current on the industry through trade publications and participating in industry events, as well as training offered by equipment manufacturers, can help you remain focused and knowledgeable on the day-to-day to stay safe in the future. Thanks for reading.