London Gatwick Airport

The whole week went extremely well and it’s fair to say exceeded our expectations with over 400 airside workers visiting the AOA airside safety bus alone.

It wasn’t just the excellent team work involved that made it successful, it was also the way we made the various events engaging, easy to access and where possible, personal to everyone involved. Communication was also key and we used the airport’s internal social media channels every day to keep people updated on the range of events taking place across the airfield.

To help give the week impact we timed the delivery of the world’s largest order of Foreign Object Damage (FOD) Bosses – 12 in total – to coincide with AOA UK Airports Safety Week and had them on display and being used on the airfield.

We deliberately engaged people at a personal level – and of course got across important health messages – by providing both cholesterol and blood pressure testing, with specialist advice also given as necessary on these and other health related topics.

To illustrate the importance of this sort of staff engagement, 56 colleagues were tested and were given advice on diet and nutrition and 19 were referred to their GPs with elevated cholesterol levels and a further three for elevated blood sugar readings. Physiotherapy advice was available for those looking for advice on a range of muscular-skeletal problems.

The AOA Safety Bus is a fantastic resource for this sort of event as it enables us to get to staff located at centres across an 8 hectare airfield.  It was located at different airside locations each day so that airfield staff could engage with the on-board safety teams ranging from Airside Compliance, Airfield Ground Lighting Team, Airport Fire Service, Occupational Health, Airside Operations and AIRDAT  depending on the day. The key safety themes on the bus focussed on Incident Investigation techniques, Just Culture, Top 5 Airfield Safety concerns, Airport Fire Service equipment and vehicles and Promoting the new AIRDAT Visa app.

We were also able to take the Safety Bus to the Gatwick Refuelling Farm where we linked up with our colleagues from Shell who were also holding their safety day with a number of other stakeholders from the airfield.

We could also position the bus in some interesting locations to help give each day impact and make each event engaging. For example, we parked the bus alongside the airport’s fire station – holding two live exercises based around a vehicle to vehicle collision which saw the fire service carefully extract a driver from one vehicle and administer first aid to another trapped underneath a baggage tug.

For the second live exercise we had Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s CEO, watching the whole event, which added more pressure to those involved in demonstration!  Joking aside, Stewart’s presence was a clear sign of the importance the airport places on staff welfare and Airside Safety Week itself.

The week ended with Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick’s COO, joining an ‘Airside Family’ photograph involving 80 people – from 20 different airside operators – in another clear demonstration of our airport-wide commitment to Airside Safety

Jerry Barkley, Head of Compliance, Gatwick Airport

Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick’s COO, joining 80 staff – from 20 different airside operators – to mark the end to the AOA UK Airport Safety Week.