If there’s an occupation that requires those practicing it to avoid distraction, it’s members of airside ground crews. For one, the functioning of an airport relies on the ground crew performing quickly but efficiently, accurately, and effectively. Failing to do so can cost the airlines thousands, even millions of dollars. That alone both requires and justifies the need to avoid distractions. However, there’s a reason even more compelling than the millions of dollars at stake for those airside ground crews to pay attention: safety.
Not that the ground crews would want it any other way, but along with being one of the most stressful and demanding jobs, it can also be one of the most dangerous. It combines the same heavy lifting and trip and fall hazards of other occupations with the collision risks accompanying those in and around fleets of aircraft tugs, baggage carts, and the rest of the ground support equipment (GSE). Add in constant loud noise and massive aircraft to the work environment and it’s easy to see how any distraction could prove dangerous. Thankfully, there are strategies to deal with, mitigate, and even abolish those distractions.
Main Distraction Types
Some of the potential audio distractions are obvious ones. The ramp and apron (and of course tarmac) of an airport are among the loudest workplaces. The sound of jet engines roaring and GSE being driven can mask noises that would otherwise contribute to warning someone of something like a vehicle pulling up behind them or the vehicle they’re in. However, those distractions can also include less necessary noises like earbuds or cellphones, which is why their use is often prohibited.
Visual and Physical Distractions
Since the audio cues that those in other professions can count on for information are often masked by noise and noise-dampening earmuffs, strict visual and physical attention is even more necessary. Taking your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road in an aircraft pushback or any vehicle is courting a risk of accidents that could result in incredibly expensive damage to GSE and aircraft as well as injury or worse.
Solutions to the Distractions
Communication and Telematics
One of the most effective preventative steps a ground crew can take is to prioritize communication. Crew members should inform each other of plans for GSE use and keep in constant contact on more involved or hazardous tasks with headsets. Installing a quality telematics system to coordinate the use and location of equipment can also prove a boon to ground crews, both for productivity and safety.
GSE Safety Systems
Sometimes there are distractions and other unplanned perils on the ramp or apron that simply can’t be entirely prepared for. And sometimes the most effective way to moderate those contingencies is to automate some capabilities as an aid to ground support crew. This can be done by outfitting the GSE with safety systems that can automate some of their functions. Safe docking systems that help avoid damage do so ably, as do towing and collision damage-preventing systems for an aircraft tug or pushback like the SiPsHitch™ Linear Force Monitoring System from AERO Specialties.
About AERO Specialties
AERO Specialties is well-known as one of the standard-setting thought leaders in aviation equipment and ground support equipment (GSE) quality and innovation. Their GSE is recognized as some of the best on the market due to their commitment to cutting-edge technological advancement in the aviation industry. AERO Specialties’ dedication to providing the best GSE available is shared by their entire team. They ensure that their whole staff—from sales to support—receive in-depth training on all GSE and the responsibilities of the airside ground crews. From their aircraft ground power unit line to aviation safety equipment, AERO Specialties has everything your aviation business needs to take off.
Learn more about helping your business take flight with AERO Specialties’ GSE and training resources, at Aerospecialties.com