SECURING THE RAMP
DIA takes a common sense approach to preventing airport accidents
By Lindsay M. Hitch, Assistant Editor
Denver International’s Airport Security division developed a systematic program to ensure the proper training and certification of all airfield drivers without having to do it all themselves. Here, a closer look at developing and managing the DIA driver program.
The driver training program began in the early ’90s at Denver’s Stapleton Airport. Initial efforts consisted of a video and a ten question test. An additional checklist was developed for those needing to drive in aircraft movement areas.
Lori Beckman, assistant deputy manager of operations/airport security at Denver Int’l, explains that the driver training program started in connection with increasing access control requirements. "On one side they were coming up with all kinds of new security training and at the same time started doing driver training."
Beckman says that the training and security clearance were combined out of convenience. To get a security badge, individuals needed to watch a video and take a test, so it seemed logical to cover driver training at the same time. Airport Security, a division of Airport Operations, conducts both functions.
Badges and driver certification are renewed every two years.
The position of head driver trainer for Denver Int’l has seen nine new faces since 1994. Beckman explains that that’s not because it’s a bad job; quite the contrary.
"We get them over here and they like it and they want to stay, but we always make them rotate back out because every one of them has brought something really important to the program and added something new."
Airport Security takes its head driver trainers from airfield operations management. Beckman says that it is generally an assistant operations manager, although others have held the position. Initially, the driver trainer rotated every six months, though now it is on an annual basis, in conjunction with how operations schedules are bid.
The program continues to grow with each driver trainer’s fresh ideas. They are currently developing a training program specifically for the fire department, and are working on an automated test system.
"I really credit the driver training program to the people that have been involved, because it’s been a real collaborative effort between the nine people that have been our driver trainers for that period of time and some of my staff folks," Beckman states. "The staff folks in Airport Security control the consistency of the program, but the nine people that have been in it have helped drive the creativity in bringing the new issues and ideas in."