CAA rolls out ground handling safety campaign

Date: 18 October 2013

A drive to increase the safety standards of airport ground handling operations has been launched by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The campaign will specifically target a general culture of low reporting of safety related incidents amongst airside workers. The CAA is therefore promoting a ‘just culture’ that is fair and encourages staff to openly report incidents. Everyone is supported in the reporting of incidents, however, deliberate harm and wilful damaging behaviour is not tolerated.

The CAA said it was vital that ground handling crew, engineers, baggage handlers, dispatchers and drivers understand that the objective of the reporting of safety events is to prevent further accidents and incidents through the improved collection and sharing of safety information, and not to attribute blame or liability.

The CAA will be launching the initiative at the dedicated safety ‘open days’ for airside staff hosted by most of the UK’s main airports, airlines and ground service providers. The campaign was initially launched at London City airport in the summer, with follow-up events at London Heathrow, Glasgow and Edinburgh in September. Further open days are planned at other large airports, starting with Manchester on 21 November.

The CAA attend these events to encourage all airside workers and management teams to engage informally with its safety experts and learn more about the concept of just culture and the importance of open reporting as well as open-minded investigation of incidents. The CAA said it wanted to see every member of staff, from the boardroom to the ‘ramp’ buy-in to a culture of full disclosure. Open reporting and investigation ultimately helps all parties involved in the aircraft turn-around process appreciate and understand where potential risks lie and deal with them before incidents occur.

Copies of some of the material used in the campaign, as well as more information on the CAA’s airside safety work, can be found at ww,caa,co,uk/ghost

For further media information contact the CAA Press on: 0207 453 6030

Follow the CAA on Twitter @UK_CAA

Notes to Editors:

1. The definition of a ‘just culture’ is a culture that is fair and encourages open reporting of accidents and incidents. However, deliberate harm and wilful damaging behaviour is not tolerated. Everyone is supported in the reporting of accidents and incidents.

2. The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy.