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Safety Action


Local safety action

Airservices Australia safety action

In the January issue of one of its newsletter to controllers, Airservices reminded controllers of the factors that contribute to runway incursions. Those factors included inadequate supervision of the manoeuvring areas of the airport, lack of adequate coordination between controllers in the tower, ambiguous clearances and instructions issued by controllers, incorrect read-back of clearances and instructions by pilots and vehicle drivers, and controllers not detecting the errors in those read-backs.

Airservices is investigating the International Civil Aviation Organization's concept of the Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System for Sydney and other Australian airports. The concept includes consideration of improved surface movement radar, improved Aerodrome Mandatory Instruction Signs and Aerodrome Information Signs and the installation of stop-bar lighting. Stop bar lighting consists of a row of red unidirectional, in-pavement lights installed on the taxiway along the holding position marking the entrance to a runway. These initiatives could improve conflict detection for controllers, reduce the incidence of runway incursions and reduce the risk of a collision as a result of a runway incursion.

Overall, the system has the potential to improve the level of safety for operators at airports and improve controller situational awareness.

Sydney Airport Corporation Limited safety action

Since this occurrence, SACL has:

  • formulated an updated Letter of Agreement with Airservices on the exchange of safety information;
  • nominated single points of contact between SACL and Airservices to act as representatives for the distribution of safety related information;
  • established a Runway Incursion Working Group with participation from Airservices, Qantas, Regional Express, Virgin Blue, Jetstar and Eastern Australia Airlines (involvement from other parties will be sought as required);
  • audited all AIA's in accordance with the AVCH (October 2003, s6.4.1, p.46) and acted to ensure any recommendations made, as a result of those audits, were implemented;
  • developed and issued updated category 2 testing examinations to all ADA issuing authorities which include guidelines for use by Approved Issuing Authorities when conducting the written tests;
  • re-issued the category 2 airside driver's pocketbooks with advice to drivers to stop and wait for assistance if they become lost or disorientated while driving airside; and
  • established an Airside Driving Forum co-facilitated with the NSW WorkCover that includes various airside users.

ATSB safety action

As a result of the investigation the Australian Transport Safety Bureau issues the following recommendations:

Recommendation R20040059

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that Sydney Airport Corporation Limited review the procedures used to ensure initial and ongoing driver competency and knowledge.

Recommendation R20040060

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends Sydney Airport Corporation Limited ensures that Approved Issuing Authorities' driver training programs at Sydney Airport include a course of action that drivers can take should they find themselves lost or disorientated while driving airside.

1 Civil Aviation Regulation 89 defined the Airport operator as 'in relation to a licensed aerodrome-the licence holder'.
2 In accordance with the Airports Act 1996, s172, Airports (Control of On-Airports Activities) Regulations 1997.
3 Airside Vehicle Control Handbook, June 2003, p1.
4 Airside Vehicle Control Handbook, Sydney Airport, June 2003, p. 42.
5 Airside Vehicle Control Handbook, Sydney Airport, June 2003, p. 44.
6 A 'Runway Strip' is 'a defined area, including the runway (and stopway if provided), intended both to reduce the risk of damage to aircraft running off a runway and to protect aircraft flying over it during take-off, or landing operations. (ICAO) (Manual of Air Traffic Services effective 15 April 2004, Pt. 10, s.1, p. 10-18).
7 Drivers Pocketbook, Category 2, May 2002, p3.

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