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FOD in focus for Airport Safety Week

October 20, 2021

The safety message is being reinforced to the Gold Coast Airport community, in preparation for flight and passenger numbers to rebuild in time for Christmas.

Airport Safety Week is underway and central to the program is the FOD (Foreign Object Debris) Gold Coast Airport airside walk, aimed at highlighting to everyone the importance of keeping the environment clear of hazards.

If it’s odd, it’s FOD – that’s the Gold Coast Airport mantra. FOD can pose a safety risk to aircraft or people in the airfield. It might be a stray coffee cup, a lost boarding ticket, pavement fragments, vegetation, or even an animal that has wandered somewhere it should not.

Queensland Airports Limited Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the airside FOD walk had become a safety week tradition at GCA and highlighted the intense focus on aerodrome safety to everyone working at the airport and the wider community.  

“Aerodrome inspections are carried out multiple times a day by our airside operations team, to ensure the airfield is always safe,” she said.

“But safety is everyone’s business, so once a year, during Airport Safety Week, we bring the whole airport team out to participate in a FOD walk.”

Ms Charlton said while only a handful of flights a day were currently operating at Gold Coast Airport, it did not mean the team was any less focused on safety.  

“In fact, it is a good time to be having conversations about safety. We know that when the Queensland border opens to NSW and Victoria in a few weeks’ time, flight and passenger numbers will increase quickly and the airport will be busy again,” she said.

“This is a good opportunity to refresh ourselves with important safety themes.”

Ms Charlton said Airport Safety Week highlighted the many factors that contributed to airport safety every day.

“We are exploring a new theme each day this week through in-person or virtual events, from airport safety through a global pandemic to mental health and safety,” she said.

“This helps the wider airport community gain a deeper understanding of this critical area.”

Airport Safety Week is an Australian Airports Association (AAA) and NZ Airports Association initiative – this year 150 airports across the two countries will participate in a range of activities under the theme ‘Safety is always our destination’. Airport Safety Week runs from 18-22 October. Find out more at airports.asn.au/airport-safety-week/.

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