Aerodrome Safeguarding is the most important process in ensuring the safety of aircraft operations! Some readers may find this to be an amazing opening statement to this article. However, I stand by this view with great conviction. After many years front-line service, I have no doubt in my mind that aircraft operations are adequately sheltered only when safeguarding is properly implemented.
What is safeguarding then? It seems that there are various versions of the description available. Generally speaking though and for everyone to get a common understanding, safeguarding is a measure taken to protect either someone or something or, to prevent something undesirable from happening.
The purpose of safeguarding
In addition to having a proper definition, it will be useful to understand the purpose of safeguarding. According to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – the United Nations specialized agency and global air transport leading authority – the purpose of Aerodrome Safeguarding is: ‘to take the measures necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft, and thereby the passengers and crews aboard them, while taking-off or landing, or while flying in the vicinity of an aerodrome’.
There are various types of aerodrome safeguarding and the whole process encompasses many areas and activities. These include, blocks of protected airspace around the aerodrome referred as Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS), rules for approach and departure procedures (PANS-OPS), shielding of visual aids and other ground equipment as well as wildlife hazard management to mention just a few.
To protect operations is a mandatory requirement for airports
It is essential for certified airports to have a system in place to safeguard operations and activities from potential hazards. Hence, in regulatory terms, airports must have an active protection program at all times. Similarly, airport operators must demonstrate that all staff engaged in aerodrome safeguarding activities are qualified and competent to fulfill their roles
Airport Bureau is an advocate of continuous learning, supporting others to progress through tuition. This is why, I have recently completed the development of a short training course titled Basics of Aerodrome Safeguarding. It is an ideal E-learning option for established professionals but also for beginners who want to expand their technical knowledge on the subject. The course explains the fundamentals of protecting aircraft operations while it describes how regulatory and legislative requirements lead to the need for certified airports to comply with the implementation of safeguarding. The course is available through our learning partner Kratis Training & Consulting and you can register for completion by clicking HERE
Aerodrome safeguarding is a fascinating subject with a plethora of relevant publications and documents available for reading. For convenience to our readers, I added links for two key regulatory papers that amply expand on the topic.