Dan Parsons is a committed and extremely curious airport safety professional. His day job is as an Aerodrome Inspector at the Civil Aviation Authority in Qatar where he tackles airport safety and regulatory issues all day long.
Beginning his aviation life with a Bachelor's degree in the subject, Dan started is career with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia (AOPAA) on general advocacy and management tasks before deciding to specialise in airports.
This decision took Dan across Australia to Perth where he travelled the countryside visiting airports of all shapes and sizes carrying out airport inspections and safety officer training.
The desire to achieve more in safety led Dan to join the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in 2009. Initially, his role involved airport safety and compliance auditing but it also involved a great deal of safety management system evangelism and technical advice on standards as well as facilitating workshops on safety in Indonesia.
After a couple of years with the Australian regulator, Dan ventured back into the private sector and took a position with a mining company running their airports in central Queensland. Their primary airport, Moranbah, was experiencing exceptional growth through the mining boom and needed expert attention. And then, almost a quickly as it grew, the end of the boom signalled a drop in activity with significant pressure on cost and efficiencies. Dan's time with the mining company saw the airport capability within the company grow into a professional unit that could not only operate the airport competently but do so at significantly lower cost while providing confidence to their executive leadership team that safety risks were being managed.
Greener (and cooler) pastures beckoned in 2016 and Dan moved to Queenstown, New Zealand to take on the new role of Airport Operations Manager. Again, strong growth is providing a welcome challenge in a spectacular resort setting.
And almost as quickly as that sentence can be read, Dan left NZ for the deserts of the Middle East and joined the QCAA.
And despite all this daily chaos, Dan loves to write and share thoughts, videos, stories and lessons-learned. The reasons for the website are two-fold. Firstly, to spread the airport safety message; to educate; to discuss; to ramble on. The less altruistic agenda is the plan to use this medium as a way of formulating and refining Dan's ideas about airport safety.
Dan first commenced blogging in 2011 as a way of trying to tackle the recurring problems he would see on aerodrome safety audits. The idea that sharing the issues one airport was having and providing advice on how to avoid it could give other airports the opportunity to improve before audit time came around. After moving into a different area of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Dan's writing shifted towards higher-level concepts but still very much focussed on aviation safety and risk management.
In 2013, Dan was the launch author for the new website New Airport Insider. These articles are very much airport-related and here Dan has written about wildlife hazard risk management, the Australian airport industry and airport people power.
In the latest iteration of this website, Dan will again be writing about airport operational matters with a few tweaks. While Dan is still very much interested in safety, customer service, internet services, ground transport and online training are issues very front of mind. What better topics to write about here?