(An article and video from DGAC France in conjunction with EASA and the European Safety Promotion Network)
The airport manoeuvring area is a dynamic and busy environment: there is always pressure to keep to tight schedules. When driving around the ramp it is important to maintain a safe distance from aircraft to prevent collisions.
With so many things happening in the manoeuvring area, it is sometimes easy to confuse haste and speed. This can lead to collisions on the ground, putting both air and ground crew at risk. Additionally, never underestimate the potential risk of jet blast. Even when an aircraft is taxiing at low speed, the engines have the potential to cause damage or even roll a vehicle over. Failure to give way to a moving aircraft might result in sudden braking that could injure cabin crew members performing safety demonstrations prior to take-off.
This video produced by DGAC France provides information on 5 good practices that can help to maintain the safety of operations:
- Always give way to aircraft, even during pushback and parking.
- At stop bars and signs, always make a full stop to make sure you have seen all the aircraft nearby.
- Always leave a safe distance before and after an aircraft has passed.
- Anticipate the time required to cross a taxiway, which can be 10 times wider than a standard road.
- Pay attention to sound, particularly in low visibility operations – you might hear an aircraft before you see it.