ACI’s Airport Excellence (APEX) in safety programme completes its first European safety review

Posted: 9 July 2012 | Airports Council International (ACI) | No comments yet

ACI has completed its first European APEX in Safety review…

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ACI is pleased to announce that on 6 July 2012, it completed its first European APEX in Safety review. The safety review took place at Cluj-Napoca International Airport in Romania as a result of an intense collaborative process and high-level coordination between ACI World, ACI Europe, ACI Asia-Pacific, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Headquarters, European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Office of ICAO, Schiphol International Airport and Bangalore International Airport Ltd. We would like to extend a special thank you to Mr. Nicolas Rallo, International Civil Aviation Organization; Ms. Maryse Schermerhorn, Schiphol International Airport; Mr. Rajasundaram Chidambararaman, Bangalore International Airport Ltd; and Mr. David Cicieo, Cluj-Napoca International Airport.

The expected outcomes of ACI’s APEX in Safety programme include tangible increases in safety and compliance by members in response to specific needs identified by participating airports, with the ultimate goal of reducing the potential for airport safety incidents. As the Voice of the World’s Airports, ACI is pleased to facilitate a partnering process whereby each airport by virtue of its unique characteristics, strengths and knowledge can contribute to helping others improve safety compliance and mitigate the risks of airport incidents worldwide.

“ICAO recently signed an MOC (Memorandum of Cooperation) with ACI to strengthen the levels of safety-related collaboration and data sharing between our Organizations, specifically in support of ACI’s APEX initiative,” commented ICAO Council President, Roberto Kobeh González. “We commend the work ACI has achieved with the Romanian authorities at Cluj-Napoca, the first European airport to benefit from an APEX outreach effort, and we look forward to increasing ICAO’s level of participation in future APEX events as this important safety initiative continues.”

“The Romanian Civil Aviation Authority is fully supportive of the APEX in Safety Program,” said Mr. Ovidiu Traichioiu, Director of Aerodromes and of the Air Transport Directorates at the Romanian Civil Aviation Authority. “I trust that the Airport Excellence initiative will provide the needed assistance for airports to strengthen their efforts and improve safety in a tangible way. This ACI Program is also beneficial to the CAAs, as it brings along ICAO, and it is based on Annex 14 Standards and Recommended Practices. Moreover, the experts from CAAs will have the possibility to meet with the Safety Review team and together further the collaboration with Host Airports, as we saw during the Safety Review at Cluj-Napoca International Airport.”

Mr. David Ciceo, Director General & CEO, Cluj-Napoca International Airport, stated, “We would like to thank the ACI team of experts that came to our airport and performed the Safety Review at Cluj-Napoca International Airport. It was an honor and a great opportunity for Cluj-Napoca International Airport to receive in Cluj a team made of so many experienced and knowledgeable safety professionals, as safety has become a priority for civil aviation.

During this Safety Review, the team has reviewed and discussed various aspects regarding the setup, implementation and performance of the safety management system at our airport. We have thus evaluated the status quo in terms of SMS, what works well, as well as the areas that need to be revised and improved.

The discussions with the APEX safety experts helped us better understand the SMS mechanism, and the best way to apply everything to our operating context. Based on the advice and recommendations received we will be able to elaborate an action plan to improve safety at Cluj-Napoca International Airport.

Until we receive the final report following this Safety Review, we will already start a preliminary mitigation program by developing a series of mitigating measures, as identified together with the review team. Once we receive the final report, we will continue developing these measures by incorporating all of the recommendations that the ACI APEX team will make.

We also consider this Safety Review as just the beginning of future collaborations and other exchanges with the airports participating in the APEX Program. This will allow us to share experiences and learn from each other, and also learn about future challenges for safety— and ways to manage/mitigate them.

According to Ms. Angela Gittens, ACI World Director General, “The successful completion of our first APEX in Safety on European soil is testament to the global status of the APEX programme and the truly collaborative nature of the airport safety community worldwide. In merely 11 months, following its pilot launch in Togo, our APEX in Safety team, in collaboration with safety partners from airports worldwide, have travelled the world identifying and remedying safety vulnerabilities by on-site peer reviews, information sharing, training, assistance with implementation of management structures and the technical assistance in applying the Standards and Recommended Practices of Annex 14. Not only have they helped to identify and raise safety standards at airports worldwide, but the importance of their work and its valuable outcomes for passenger safety have been praised by the international community. We are now gearing up for a September 2012, full-scale launch of the programme at our World Annual General Assembly in Calgary.”

Mrs. Patti Chau, Regional Director of ACI Asia-Pacific is pleased to see the extension of APEX in Safety to Europe. She said, “Since the pilot safety review in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia in April this year, the regional office has received a lot of enquiries and interests about the programme from member airports. The MOU (memorandum of understanding) recently signed between ACI and Airports Authority of India (AAI) signifies the next major step to move the programme forward in the Asia-Pacific region. We are now working with ACI World and ICAO to conduct safety reviews on at least 4 Indian airports in 2013.”

According to Mr. Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI Europe, “The completion of the first ever APEX event in Europe is to be welcomed. It serves as a timely reminder that safety is an everyday priority for airports both in Europe and across the globe. APEX, tailored to meet regional and local needs, offers an excellent tool to help airports in these efforts.”

ACI recently signed a memorandum of understanding concerning APEX in Safety with Airports Authority of India (AAI), one of the largest airport authorities in the world. Mr. V.P. Agrawal, Chairman, AAI stated, “AAI signed the MOU with ACI concerning its APEX in Safety programme for Airports in order to make our airport operations even safer in accordance with ICAO directives and guidelines and through the assistance of ACI’s safety partners, which benefits from the safety expertise of airport experts worldwide.”

APEX in Safety will transition from a pilot programme to official programme status at the 22nd ACI World/North America Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition in Calgary, Alberta.

ACI launched its APEX in Safety pilot programme in September 2011 at Société Aéroportuaire de Lomé-Tokoin in Togo. ACI subsequently completed reviews at Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula; Maputo International Airport in Maputo, Mozambique; Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka, Zambia; Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia and most recently at Cluj-Napoca International Airport in Romania.

To learn more about APEX in Safety, please visit:

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