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Many Masters: CASA not the only Agency Responsible for Safety

Many Masters: CASA not the only Agency Responsible for Safety

Just a short post today* about a recent High Court of Australia decision on the topic of which safety agency should prosecute safety breaches involving an aviation organisation preparing for a flight. Quick answer: it could be an agency other than the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) depending on the circumstances of the breach.

* I don’t want to became an aviation law blog. Really, I don’t but I do enjoy ready this stuff.

Off the Hook: Kangaroo Collision Case Appeal Allowed

Off the Hook: Kangaroo Collision Case Appeal Allowed

A little over a year ago, I wrote about a court case involving the owner of an aircraft claiming damages from an aerodrome operator after their aircraft collided with a kangaroo on landing. I was pretty proud of that post as I had exercised some newly developed court judgement reading skills. So, of course, the legal system would have to go an turn all that on it’s head and change its mind. It turns out that the aerodrome operator was not liable for the damage.

Let’s find out why and whether we agree with them…

Image credit: Altered photo by Scott Calleja

Blown Away: Risk Management & Public Safety

Blown Away: Risk Management & Public Safety

As an avgeek, I love pictures and videos of aircraft coming into land low over beaches, roads and anything else that happens to be near the end of runways. But should we continue to accept injuries to and the death of people who congregate in these areas during aircraft operations?

Image credit: Richie Diesterheft

Missed Opportunities: We Should be Doing Better

Missed Opportunities: We Should be Doing Better

Over the past year or so, I've written about a couple of topics that seem to have converged into this post. Airport professionalism, the application of aerodrome regulations (twice), runway strip standards and accidents were topics I recently explored and after doing so more research I stumbled across a couple of incident investigations in Australia that bring these previous articles together.

Is this Acceptable? When a runway strip isn't wide enough

Is this Acceptable? When a runway strip isn't wide enough

This week, on Sunday, 14th January 2018, a Pegasus 737-800 veered off the runway at Trabzon, Turkey and came to rest on a steep slope quite close to the Black Sea. Obviously, it is way too early to speculate on the causes of the accident but as airport safety nerds, I think its okay for us to have a look at the role the runway strip played in this event. a few internet comments have questioned the compliance of the runway strip and it does look narrow. However, if Google Earth is to be believed, these comments and first thoughts might not be correct.

Wrong, but not as Wrong: Wellington RESA “Final” Decision

Wrong, but not as Wrong: Wellington RESA “Final” Decision

Earlier in 2017, the New Zealand Court of Appeal reversed an even earlier court decision and found that the NZ Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Director had made an error in assessing the Runway End Safety Area (RESA) length requirement contain in Civil Aviation Rule Part 139 - I blogged about that decision here.

This week, the NZ Supreme Court handed down its judgement on the appeal made by the NZ CAA and Wellington Airport. Not a bad turnaround considered the length legal battles usually take.

And I guess, technically, the NZ CAA and Wellington International Airport Ltd (WIAL) lost. The appeal was dismissed and costs were awarded but the reasoning included in the judgement does provide the NZ CAA with at least a partial win.

The $200K Kangaroo

The $200K Kangaroo

I’m not a big fan of safety tropes. They are often repeated without much thought and eventually this repetition becomes detached from the concept the trope is trying to convey. With many tropes, there are few non-trivial or non-catastrophic events that can reinforce the trope.

The saying on my mind today is “if you think safety is expensive, try having an accident”. The “accident” I often think about is something big, something catastrophic and something that happens to other people. I rarely uttered this trope because I, personally, didn’t feel the power of it.

Now, thanks to a court case in Australia, I feel the power has been returned to this saying. We know have a non-catastrophic event with quantifiable costs associated with the “safety” part and the “accident” part. Plus, I think nearly every airport safety professional out there can empathise with the operator in the case

Seussian Safety Management

Seussian Safety Management

All three on my children have been brought into the world of reading partially through the works of Dr Seuss. I can't count the number of times I have read his books. As my kids have grown older, they have turned into the reader and read these amazing books back to me.

The Bike Lesson is one of my favourites for the very nerdy reason that towards the end of the book The Berenstains provide us with a short & succinct definition of safety. It's three simple stanzas that I think encapsulate modern safety management perfectly.

Making Decisions is Hard: How Long Must a RESA Be?

Making Decisions is Hard: How Long Must a RESA Be?

A couple of months ago, the New Zealand Court of Appeal handed down a judgement against the NZ Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA)  assessment of Runway End Safety Area (RESA) requirements stemming from their own rules. While not everyone is in to reading court decisions and pulling apart regulations, I obviously am. As such, I thought I would save you the trouble and write about it here.

Header image from Karelj.

Can Empathy lead to the Voice of the Customer?

Can Empathy lead to the Voice of the Customer?

This post has been on the drafting table for a couple of weeks now as the concept of Lean Six Sigma in an airport environment continues to push my mental-gymnastic abilities. It started a couple of weeks ago when Dubai Airports announced on LinkedIn a new policy to reject at check-in baggage that lacks a flat surface

I understand that the airport company must be seriously concerned about mis-tracks and other baggage handling system issues that result in delayed and lost bags. But in reading the announcement, I couldn't shake the feeling that something was missing in this decision and after much pondering, my thoughts have centred on the concept of Voice of the Customer (VOC).

Outsourcing Airside Services

Outsourcing Airside Services

When the FIFO phenomenon took off*, mines required aerodromes to ferry workers in and out and staff to inspect and maintain them. Operating an aerodrome (some would later become airports), is obviously not core business for a mining company and thus, became fertile ground for outsourcing. This post explores the issues I have experienced and seen at aerodromes that have outsourced their airside activities and/or obligations. 

Airport Professional Culture

Airport Professional Culture

I love the concept of culture. Obviously, those in the safety game are familiar with the concepts of safety culture and just culture but I like to think about it more generally as a way of managing people and ensuring good performance. For me, the power of understanding culture stems from the idea that all individual behaviour is influenced by the culture that surrounds that individual.

Image credit: A dodgy photoshop job on a photo by Aylmer

Lean Six Sigma for Airports: My "Meet Cute"?

Lean Six Sigma for Airports: My "Meet Cute"?

I have a confession: For quite a while I didn't really get how the "manufacturing" mindset, in so far as it relates to the concept of Lean, applied to airport operations. I couldn't grasp the application of the philosophy to the airport. 

What is our product? What are we making? 

I think, finally, the meaning of it all has given me a glimpse of its power and I'm keen to learn more. And in my usual style, I plan on doing that publicly, here, on this blog.

Image credit: Neville Wooton