Someone is always watching...

Airports are at the nexus of high visibility and idle time. We invite people to transit through our facilities. We  provide windows for them to watch the action. We make them wait (hopefully not too long).

And how do they reward us?

By watching us at work. And sometimes, if you're unlucky, filming us at work...

Well, actually, his behaviour isn't really defensible, is it? ;)

Dilbert on Risk Management The ingenious Scott Adams definitely has a knack for breaking down business/social situations and highlighting the absurdity of all-too-common actions. I've seen this one quite a few times during safety audits and often, people show as little shame as you'd expect to see from the "pointy-haired boss".

I think this comes from a fundamental mis-understanding of the reason for risk management. It is not a task you complete to tick a compliance box - it is what you do to satisfy yourself that your plan is sound.

Enough preaching - check out this page for more of Dilbert on risk management.

The Simian Menace

There's more whacky animal-airport news this week. This time, its India with a rampaging group of monkeys sending aircraft on go-arounds! This story has got the works - poor planning in the placement of a garbage dump nearby, the hard work being done by airport staff to mitigate the risk as best they can and the need for a coordinated response with some success.

Despite this, I continue to pledge my allegiance to the reptilian conspiracy attacking airports in the US and Australia.

image - (cc) from

Spending time with our ATC cousins

I only occasionally get to spend time with the ATC community but last week offered one of those chances. My co-facilitator in Jakarta was Tim Abberton, a very experienced "airservices" ATC'er and safety guru and at least half the course were members of the Indonesian DGCA's Directorate of Air Navigation. The combined course was an excellent opportunity for the airport and air navigation worlds to work together as well as compare and contrast their approaches to similar problems. The Indonesian airport/ATC environment is somewhat different to Australia's. They have more towers, three Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) including the government and most importantly, at many of its larger airports, the airport operator and the local ANSP are the same organisation either PT Angkasa Pura I, PT Angkasa Pura II or the DGCA itself.

The fence between airport & ATC in Australia can be hard to scale - some locations appear to coordinate better than others. I often wonder what it would be like if airports had to operate their own tower. It would definitely create a tighter operation but I am fully aware of the economies of scale achievable with a single ANSP.

Anyway, thinking ATC reminded me of this hilarious youtube clip (its really only audio) of a New York Ground Controller having a pretty bad day.