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ICAO Global Runway Safety Symposium

ACI World launches APEX in safety programme

ACI World Director General Angela Gittens, speaking this week at the ICAO Global Runway Safety Symposium in Montreal, announced a new global safety programme called Airport Excellence in Safety (APEX) designed to help airports worldwide to identify and address safety vulnerabilities.

Gittens says, “As ICAO statistics indicate, runway excursions are both the most frequent and the most deadly type of runway accidents that occur. APEX provides a platform to assist our member airports in that goal.

“But to drive down the number and severity of incidents, all those involved in safety at the airport must work together to meet that objective – including airports, airlines, pilots, air traffic controllers and the many people on the ground who contribute to delivering safe travel. This close collaboration is critical in order to reduce the potential for accidents and improve airport response in case of an incident.”

APEX programme components build on ICAO principles of airport certification in line with Annex 14 and Safety Management Systems (SMS), information transparency. To learn from experience, an APEX database for incident information sharing will be based on a non-punitive, ‘just culture’ environment.

ACI will facilitate a ‘Safety Partners’ network to promote mutual assistance. Gittens says, “Our good fortune in the airport business is that airports come in all shapes and sizes… literally. By pairing and partnering within the airport community, we share strengths and knowledge and speed progress on operational and safety management targets.”

“We recognize that not all regions, nor even all airports in a same region, may be facing the same hurdles,” adds Gittens. “That is why we are working in close collaboration with our ACI regional offices and our local aviation partners on tailoring the common framework with flexibility for meeting specific and identified local needs. The APEX pilot projects will serve as models for our many members worldwide. The expected outcome is a tangible increase in safety compliance by members. As an industry we know it takes all of us to make a difference for any of us. ACI pledges its commitment to make a difference.”