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Aviation is one of the safest forms of transport and millions of people each day depend on the hard work of those at Heathrow to ensure they are not harmed by the airport.

Whether it is so that our passengers reach their destination safely, so that the communities aircraft overfly can go about their daily business, or so thousands of workers can go home safely, high standards of safety are essential to the operation at Heathrow.

Along with investing millions of pounds upgrading infrastucture, Heathrow Airport Limited is leading a number of initiatives to improve safety behaviours. Much of our safety-based work airside is now grouped under the Heathrow.Safe banner and the following issues have either been initiated or accelerated due to the programme.

Since the launch of Heathrow.Safe the Airside Team has taken the lead on driving the future safety strategy and initiatives for the airfield via the Heathrow.Safe steering group (bi- monthly meeting) and the working group (monthly). Both forums comprise key airline, handler and AOC representatives, all at decision-making level, along with the Airside SLT.

FOD: Strategies to reduce foreign object debris on the airfield

  • Cleansweep, the weekly community inspections of stands by senior Heathrow staff along with the handlers and airlines that operate in the area, has been given new momentum with increased commitment from the community.
  • This has resulted in such a step change, Airside have introduced a second weekly Cleansweep, meaning that every stand on the Airfield is now visited every six weeks.
  • Subsequently, Cleansweep sessions are beginning in the baggage halls to spread the change in safety culture further across the airport, work is in process to introduce this in the terminals.
  • An overhaul of the Stand Cleaning Regime has released extra resource to deep cleaning, resulting in safer working environments.
  • FOD bins and a new process have been introduced at Control Posts to reduce FOD brought on to the Airfield that can escape from vehicles.
  • A new project is currently underway to tackle FOD in vehicles that are permanently based on the airfield.

Driver penalty points

Since the introduction of the scheme in September 2006, vehicle accidents airside have decreased and Heathrow.Safe has cemented the scheme within the community and enhanced its credibility.

Penalty points for non-driving offences

This replicates the existing system but for all unacceptable and unsafe practices on the airfield

  • Penalty Points applied to the individuals ID pass.
  • 12 points = suspension of access to Airside.
  • Discussions continuing with stakeholders to finalise wording of OSI.
  • Scheme will be launched with a 'soft start' before full implementation.

Driver training

Control has been returned to driver training airside with the support of the community, inherently increasing safety.

  • In 2007 there were 178-plus training companies and 700-plus trainers.
  • In 2009 there were 46 training companies and 134 trainers.

Other initatives

A review of the byelaws and how they relate to safety airside is under way via the Heathrow.Safe Working Group.

Incident measles map: On request from the community we have produced a map of incidents, facilitating trending data and allowing focus on particular areas to be increased.

Plans for vehicle tracking airside are being initiated by Heathrow.safe.

Website: A communications website will initially contain information on the aerodrome licence, byelaws and Safety instructions but has the scope to be expanded.