ICAO, ACI collaborate on airport safety initiative

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Published: July 3, 2012

ICAO and the Airports Council International (ACI) have signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) to improve safety standards at airports worldwide.

The MOC will support the development of the ACI Airport Excellence (APEX) in Safety program, which is designed to help airports improve safety performance, implement safety management systems, comply with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), and establish indicators and tools for the reduction of safety incidents. Other objectives of the MOC include joint technical assistance projects; the regular exchange of safety-relevant information and data; mutual access to databases; exchanging experts and providing training; and promoting regional cooperation.

ACI director general Angela Gittens said the MOC signaled “the official start of a collaboration” to grow APEX. She explained: “Through APEX, we help airports around the world identify and remedy safety vulnerabilities by on-site peer reviews, information sharing, training, assistance with implementation of management structures and the technical assistance in applying the Standards and Recommended Practices of Annex 14. This collaboration with ICAO takes global airport safety to the next level.”

APEX involves an on-site safety review conducted by the ACI Safety Review Team. The review identifies safety gaps and defines an action plan for addressing any vulnerabilities. The ACI will then also assist the host airport to implement the action plan by providing support, training and access to a global network of expertise.

Examples of areas covered by such a review include runway safety; safety management systems (SMS); aerodrome certification;  wildlife hazard management; markings, signs and lighting; rescue and firefighting; emergency response; airside driver and vehicle management; improvement of AIP documentation; management of ground handlers, contractual and legal issues; low visibility procedure; obstacle management; winter operations;  FOD management; movement area maintenance; movement area access; aerodrome works safety; apron safety management; removal of disabled aircraft; and hazardous material handling.

ICAO council president Roberto Kobeh González said: “ICAO and ACI have a long history of cooperation. The memorandum … provides a framework for enhanced cooperation between our two organizations and reflects ICAO’s continuing efforts to take a more action-oriented approach to promoting safety.”

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