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Date posted: 13-05-2019
Today marks the beginning of UK Airports Safety Week, an initiative by the Airport Operators Association (AOA). This year’s tagline? ‘Your Safety, Our Safety’. This kind of inclusive safety culture, upheld by individuals taking responsibility for their own wellbeing and safe practice, is critical to everything we do here at London Biggin Hill Airport.
The reason? Our airport is home to more than 70 resident aviation companies, totalling around 1,300 employees. We also have long-standing relationships with suppliers such as Air BP that, while not permanently based on site, access the airport daily. A multitude of people come to London Biggin Hill every day – to visit, to work, to fly – and we are responsible for the safety of each one of them. So, the need for a cohesive, yet individually relevant, safety strategy is clear.
Think of an airport. Where do you imagine most safety incidents could occur? It’s airside every time. And airside safe practices are, evidently, central to the operations of any airport. We demonstrate this regularly at London Biggin Hill – most recently, with the introduction of a new safety initiative around one of the biggest potential risk areas on site: fuelling.
Air BP has been our sole fuel supplier for more than 25 years, delivering countless gallons of fuel to our customers’ aircraft. After Airport Safety Reports were received about non-essential personnel being near, or stepping over, fuelling hoses whilst aircraft refuelling was in progress, we introduced Fuelling Safety Zones to safeguard against any issues that could arise from this activity.
But the important thing to note here isn’t about the new initiative – it’s that Air BP’s employees, along with our own, were able to recognise a potential hazard, report it, and see the results. We’ve designed an open, fair and flexible reporting culture, which means we can learn from any errors or omissions and continuously improve our safety standards.
Safety isn’t limited to airside – it’s carried around with every person, whether they’re on the tarmac, in an office or mid-flight.