Ground operations occurrences at Australian airports 1998 to 2008


The aviation industry has been slow to acknowledge the risks associated with ground operations. While most occurrences on airport aprons and taxiways do not have consequences in terms of loss of life, they are often associated with aircraft damage, delays to passengers and avoidable financial costs to industry. The focus of this report is to examine ground occurrences involving high capacity aircraft operations.

This report examines occurrences involving ground operations and foreign object debris that occur at Australian airports which receive high capacity aircraft. It uses occurrence and investigation data reported to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to create a picture of ground occurrences. This picture begins when an aircraft is being prepared for takeoff and ends when passengers and crew have disembarked from the aircraft. It explores contributing factors associated with each type of occurrence, with the objective of providing some insight into what happened and why various events occurred. The key to preventing ground occurrences appears to revolve around ensuring effective communication between pilots, ground crews and air traffic services through a process of checks and balances.

Type: Research and Analysis Report
Investigation number: AR-2009-042
Author(s): ATSB
Publication date: 16 June 2010
ISBN: ISBN 978-1-74251-061-3
Publication number: AR-2009-042
Last update 07 April 2014
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