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Airports Council International Focuses on Airport Operational Excellence

  • Published by Vedat

At the ACI World 21st Annual General Assembly, members of Airports Council International unanimously passed three resolutions reiterating their intent to promote safe operations in a global regulatory environment.

aciThe first resolution reminded all stakeholders that the European Union has called for lifting of the ban on Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGS) in hand baggage in 2013. ACI continues to advocate for international harmonization and coordination surrounding the removal of the restriction. Airport members recalled the implementation of LAGS restrictions in 2006 and the many problems passengers encountered when traveling internationally resulting in the forfeiture of personal and retail LAGS at the screening checkpoints.

The resolution urges ICAO, regional and national regulators to work with stakeholders in the industry (including ACI and its member airports) to develop fully coordinated plans internationally for the eventual lifting of the restrictions on the carriage of LAGs. These coordinated plans would incorporate timetables associated with the testing and approval of required new screening technologies, allowing sufficient time and resources to ensure achievement of the objective of effectively enhancing passenger facilitation while adequately countering the threat from international terrorism.

“ACI is working to avoid a repetition of the situation in 2006 and 2007 when different rules relating to the carriage of LAGs were applied from State to State, causing confusion and inconvenience among passengers and industry stakeholders,” said Director General Angela Gittens. “Our team will be monitoring the development in the EU and will continue to work with ICAO on a harmonized approach.”

The next resolution firmly outlines the partnership between ICAO and ACI with regards to Safety. To formalize the working relationship, airport members supported a resolution calling for a formal agreement between ACI and ICAO.

Members noted that ICAO’s strategic objectives of Safety, Security and Sustainability (economic and environmental) are closely aligned with those of ACI and we must work together to reduce the number of accidents worldwide. “We have already exchanged letters on the subject of cooperation in safety, covering aerodrome certification, safety management systems, safety data collection and the promotion of safety culture,” said Angela Gittens, “and we welcome the opportunity to formalize our participation and implementation plans.”

Lastly in the area of safety and operational excellence, the airport members unanimously passed a resolution on runway safety. The resolution calls for ACI to produce a new Runway Safety Handbook to provide state of the art guidance to airport members. “We understand that some of the contributing factors in runway accidents are under the responsibility of airport operators,” said ACI Director of Safety, Technical and Administration David Gamper. “These contributing factors include runway surface conditions, visual aids, foreign object debris and wildlife hazards. We also believe that Runway Safety Committees are needed at all airports, for all partners (ATC, airlines, pilots etc.) to discuss safety risks and agree on suitable mitigations. ACI will produce a new guidance document based on the existing Airside Safety Handbook, which will present best practices and assist members with abating the causes of runway accidents.”
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