Safety by design

The airport ramp is a complex working environment. Keeping staff safe is a multi-layered task relying on proactive safety culture, compliance and appropriate equipment, as Paul E Eden found out

The majority of staff safety challenges at commercial airports are below wing, where the working environment can be intense
David Baker/ Getty Images

Airport safety is not achieved by accident. In the typically dynamic, noisy, pressured ramp environment, staff work best in a proactive safety culture, where staying safe means more than putting on a hi-vis vest. There are layers to airport safety, all supported by a process of compliance and transparency so that potential deficiencies are identified and acted upon as early as possible.

Harry Harrad, safety and compliance manager at London Oxford Airport and the London Heliport, is a veteran of the airport safety business, having worked at London Heathrow, London City and, prior to his 2020 move to Oxford, at Birmingham Airport.

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