A Really Old Bomb Scare

News out of Pisa over the last couple of days could give some food for thought for all those aerodromes built during WWII.

Pisa airport in central Italy shut down yesterday evening with all flights in and out cancelled after a World War II bomb was uncovered near the runways during maintenance works.

As I've travelled around I've heard my fair share of stories of underground bunkers, gun placements and even possible ammunition caches. Perhaps these stories should be included in the aerodrome's risk register which had been developed as part of it safety management system. For any WWII-era aerodrome, I don't think the above scenario is beyond serious consideration.

For those aerodromes, unexploded ordinance could be added to risk register as a newly identified hazard. The Safety Officer is then typically tasked with assessment of the hazard and the development of appropriate risk controls. They may be assisted by a committee of aerodrome stakeholders or other subject matter experts - in Australia's case, the Department of Defence. The treatments are then included in the aerodrome manual and other documents, airside/work-site induction etc., as required.

Given the level of works being undertaken at aerodromes across Australia and especially in the north, I'll be pushing this issue as I travel around.