Human Factors and Airside Safety 


Workshop Description

Airport aprons are unique and potentially hazardous work environments.  Servicing, maintaining, and supporting aircraft operations require all-weather efforts and minimal aircraft turnaround time by cargo handlers, fuelers, lavatory and water system servicers, catering support, snow removal workers, aircraft and equipment servicers, maintenance workers, and others.  Work is fast paced to meet airline schedules. Aprons are congested, noisy, and packed with a diverse fleet of vehicles, travelling at a variety of speeds.  Common hazards at aerodromes include: vehicles striking aircraft and/or people; manual handling; slips and trips; moving aircraft; live aircraft engines; inadequate lighting; and hazardous substances and Dangerous Goods (including radioactive substances). 

In addition to the major impact on Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S), these hazards, as well as runway incursions, jet blast, Foreign Object Damage / Debris (FOD) also threaten aircraft operations, and flight safety.  In a 2002 article, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) reported that ramp damage to aircraft, airport structures and ground service equipment cost the global airline industry an estimated $3 Billion (USD) a year in uninsured losses - equivalent to the cost of 15 B747-400s.  In addition, airlines now use a guideline figure of $500 AUD per minute as the cost of aircraft delays due to ramp damage.  CASA go on to state that statistically, any airline operating 100-plus aircraft can now expect on average to have one aircraft in the hangar undergoing ramp damage repairs everyday of the year! 

Given the threats to OH&S, airport structures, aircraft operations, and flight safety, it is important that all aircraft operations, including turnaround times should take full account of the need for safe working practices.  Failure to do this may result in short cuts and bad practice which can lead to accidents, ill health and damage to assets.  Along with sound safety management practices, co-operation and co-ordination between the aerodrome operator, ground handlers, airlines and other aerodrome users, this course is one of the tools available to deal effectively with these hazards.

Who should attend?

Individuals involved in servicing, and support aircraft operations, including cargo handlers, fuelers, lavatory and water system servicers, catering support, snow removal workers, aircraft and equipment servicers, and maintenance workers.  In addition, airport management, and those responsible for planning, directing or managing a safety programme and supervisors who are required to supervise an accident prevention / risk management programme. 

Course Outline


OH&S and hazards on the ramp


Reducing “Runway Incursions”


Effective communication in airport surface operations


Fatigue and other factors affecting human performance


Human error and error management concepts


Airside safety management and SMS


Hazardous weather conditions


Obtaining aviation weather information and operations planning


Accident causation


Corporate safety culture


Organisational influences on safety


Effective shift briefings and communication


Situational awareness


Hazard identification and risk management


Safety audits in airside operations


Take Home

  • Comprehensive course notebook

  • Industry examples and solutions

  • Certification of completion

Workshop Duration, Location and Tuition

Workshop Duration: 5 days.

Fee: $1975.00 USD

Location: Various locations. In-house available.

All Dutcher SMS courses can be delivered to your offices and tailored to your organisation's needs. If you have a group of 5 or more individuals for this course, please contact us and we will provide you with information about bringing this course to your offices at a time convenient for you and your staff. For courses delivered in the United Kingdom, all prices are in UK Pounds (GBP).  For courses delivered in all other European countries, all prices are in Euros. For delivery in other countries, please contact us.


Regular Facilitators: Mike Doiron and John Dutcher


For More Information

Download  Brochure:

Human Factors and Airside Safety (67kb)

Related Courses:

Human Factors Management (HFM)

Critical Team / Crew Resource Management

Company Aviation Safety Officer Course

Human Performance in Maintenance

Occupational Health and Safety

Civil Aviation Safety Authority. (2002, January-February). What’s the damage?: The true cost of ramp accidents. Civil Aviation Safety Authority – Australia - Flight Safety Australia. 6 (1), 34-38.

© Dutcher Safety & Meteorology Services (2003-2008)
Last Updated: 10 Apr 0