Airport Business

MAY 2017

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SAFETY MATTERS 38 airportbusiness May 2017 reduce ground-based equipment requirements on bays. The stands adhere to International Civil Aviation Organization and Civil Aviation Safety Authority Manual of Standards Part 139 clearance standards. By adhering to these standards, Perth Airport has the necessary space to store GSE that is required to service all aircraft types. Apron drive aerobridges also facilitate the efficient use of space at the bay," according to a spokesper- son for Perth Airport, which is the fourth largest domestic and international airport in Australia and is serviced by more than 30 international, domestic and regional airlines. In FY16, 13.8 mil- lion passengers passed through Perth Airport, with this figure set to rise to 28.5 million by 2034. New Zealand's Auckland Airport also takes the airport design issue very seriously. "The approach varies greatly as to how to remove these constraints, and it includes pre- dominantly a mixture of innovation, IT and infrastructure development as well as changes in operational practice. We are seeing a sig- nificant growth in the adoption of technology such as common use self-service check-in to relieve the footprint of check-in development and enhance the passengers experience at the same time, allowing operational resources to be refocussed on customer centric activities," says Darrell Abbott, Auckland Airport aeronautical planning and performance manager. Auckland Airport's 30-year vision is to build a world-class airport that supports airlines and aviation-related businesses to be economically successful and to boost Auckland's and New Zealand's economies. This vision foresees the building of a second runway. In airport design, efforts are being committed to avoid a mixed aircraft and GSE traffic on the apron, e.g. with lanes for ground support vehicles that do not cross taxiways. This is a key consid- eration of the future proofed design for Auckland Airport, according to Abbott. "Taxiway crossings should be avoided to pre- vent conflict between aircraft and ground equip- ment. If appropriate, traffic lanes that underpass taxiways should be considered to facilitate vehic- ular and equipment traffic between aprons. For example, there are cross-field taxiways between the Midfield Concourse and passenger apron at HKIA. A tunnel under the taxiways is therefore built for airside vehicles and ground equipment," the spokesperson for HKIA says. "Through regular interaction with stakehold- ers, Perth Airport has a thorough understanding of the risks associated with GSE and aircraft servicing. These risks are always considered by operational and planning teams when design- ing or reconfiguring aprons. Where practical, the interaction between vehicles and aircraft is minimized through the use of apron marked roadways," the spokesperson for Perth Airport says. "New aprons are designed with a prefer- ence for head of stand roadways, a design which has been incorporated in Perth Airport's planned new International Terminal. Perth Airport also imposes strict speed limits and minimum dis- tances from aircraft and fueling equipment. In addition, Perth Airport has an advanced and robust Airside Driving Program to prevent aircraft damage on the apron and most impor- tantly, ensure the safety of all individuals. The program is undertaken by every person who drives a vehicle airside and is complemented by stringent road rules and safety promotions." Newer aircraft stands are being developed with fixed ground support installations that reduce GSE movements around aircraft and thus the likelihood of damage. "Auckland Airport is very proud to be one of the few airports in the world to offer its Boeing 787-900 customers the capability to utilize mains power, instead of their APUs, to run their aircraft whilst on stand and to actually run up their engines," says Abbott. Fixed ground power system and pre-condi- tioned air systems are also provided at parking stands at HKIA to reduce the need of correspond- ing ground equipment to move around aircraft. Fixed ground support installations surely have a safety benefit but may require a more significant capital expenditure and longer time horizons to reach break-even. "The improvement in ramp traffic efficiency in turn enhances customer experience such as quicker baggage delivery. Besides, it contrib- utes a lot to a greener airport by significant reduction of carbon emission from the aircraft auxiliary power units, ground power units and air-condition units powered by fossil fuel," the spokesperson for HKIA says. "The benefits are more than financial from an airport's perspective and safety is our primary concern, not only for passengers but our entire airport community. There are environmental benefits, and we have always seen a commer- cial benefit, not necessarily in direct revenue but in reducing the need for further future capital expenditure," says Abbott. Other considerations that should drive airport design to make the system more resilient, namely less prone to aircraft damage on the apron are a focus on the behavior and operational pro- cedures of system management is paramount. A world-class operation realizes less risk, concludes Abbott. Mario Pierobon is a safety man- agement consultant and content producer. He currently is working on a research project invesƟgaƟng aircraŌ ground handling safety. You may reach him at marioprbn@ gmail.com. Mario Pierobon ABOUT THE AUTHOR Photo courtesy of HKIA

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