October 23, 2021

Nigeria Transport Hub

…the epicentre for all transport modes

AIRPORT SAFETY WEEK: to impact passengers, personnel, neighbouring communities on safety consciousness

4 min read

Capt Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN

The leadership of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has begun building the capacity and capability of its personnel and promised to build the capability of its internal and external customers including airlines, passengers and neighbouring communities, to become sufficiently proactive in dealing with safety-critical issues through total compliance to safety principles.

The Managing Director of FAAN, Capt Rabiu Yadudu, who made these known narrated that his personnel are already being imbued with safety nuggets which they would, in turn, impact everyone that had any form of interaction with the airport and its personnel nationwide.

Releasing teasers ahead of the commemoration of the Airport Safety Week for the year 2021, the Generals Manager, Safety, Mr Nath McAbraham- Inajoh, said this year’s safety week would be observed at the instance of the Airport Council International, ACI, Africa Region. He said the ACI directed all airports in the continent to as a matter of duty, use the safety week observance to draw attention to why safety is the business of every airport user and even the communities outside the perimeter fence but in proximity to the airports.

General Manager, Safety, said this year’s safety week observance would be unique as it would be unitedly commemorated throughout Africa in the month of September. He explained that prior to the pandemic, every airport observed the week at the time chosen by the management of each of the airports.

He further narrated that the leadership of ACI had done a rethink and directed that any convenient week in the month of September be chosen to commemorate the airport safety week hence, the management of FAAN settled for 28th September.

McAbraham- Inajoh said the beauty of this year’s celebration is that in Nigeria, all the airports would simultaneously observe the week and everyone who uses any of the airports during the celebration would easily observe safety-related programs in the airports.

He said the airport management is emphasizing stakeholders’ collaboration in this year’s program. He added that all the personnel concern about safety matters had been exposed to adequate training by the management hence, they are adequately equipped to impact others.

He however argued that safety is not an exclusive preserve of the safety department but a concern for everyone using the airport. He disclosed that the communities outside the airports but closer to the perimeter fence would also be thoroughly engaged in the safety campaign to be launched on Tuesday, 28th September 2021.

The General Manager, Safety, announced that the theme of this year’s safety week is; Training, the key to resuming activities”. He explained that on the resumption of flight after the total grounding caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the World Health Organization, WHO, mandated all staff in the airports to undergo training to enable them to be conversant with safety issues and it informs the theme by the ACI.

He however added that the management of FAAN had done a lot in the area of training with the view to ensuring that its workforce is compliant on all safety matters and this they would impact on passengers, airport users and other stakeholders in the course of the observance of the 2021 safety week.

On people who mill around the airport especially at the foyer most of who are friends to the workers, or former staff and others without discernible purpose who gained entry and loiter at the terminal building, the GM retorted that such issue borders on access control.

Concepts of positive safety culture

Mr McAbraham- Inajoh quickly pointed out that the access control aspect is being given serious attention by the Security Directorate. He however noted that people could come to the airport, but must have a mission and while at the airport they must observe all the none pharmaceutical COVID-19 safety protocols as now established in all the airports nationwide.

Another group of stakeholders the safety week observance would allow focusing on, are the communities outside the airport but close by along the perimeter fence.

He said those residents in such areas need to be educated on how their hygienic manner of waste disposal method could positively impact the growth of airport business and aviation generally and the prospects it could, in turn, offer their youths such as being employed to make a career in the aviation industry.

Mr Nath McAbraham- Inajoh, General Manager, Safety

The GM Safety opined that accurate knowledge of the symbiotic web between the communities and the airports would surely inspire cooperation which would in both the medium and long terms, be mutually beneficial to both parties.

On the insider threat to safety which could easily be triggered by poor remuneration or delay of salaries and allowances, McAbraham- Inajoh, said series of staff engagements had since started to further emphasize the importance of safety.

He said the philosophy behind the slogan, “safety is everybody’s business” had been impressed on the airport personnel. He noted that the staff had been made to comprehend the severally proven truth that when an insider compromised on safety, it doesn’t guarantee the safety of such renegade.

The safety manager said safety is not a destination but a journey that is a continuum.

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