Since the invention of the concept of air travel, and the aircraft as a tool to accomplish the purpose, airports and air travel has been characterized by a myriad of activities. These activities involve thousands of aircraft personnel around the world. These beehives of well-coordinated activities are efficiently run to accomplish efficient service deliveries to ensure safe takeoffs and landings to target destinations.
To achieve these, a number of aircraft personnel are involved that span airport security personnel, airport control personnel, and emergency response units. This personnel is adept at executing their jobs with acuteness of unrivaled knowledge and skill that are executed with striking efficiency and responsibility. These striking coordination from varied departments and personnel are the fundamental components of successful airport operations. The entire sum of airport personnel and related functions that characterize the constituency of airport operations are discussed hereafter.
The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (2009) details that aircraft security personnel operate in complex multi-faceted environments that are vulnerable to potential security threats that include illegal movements of hazardous materials, threats from terrorists, and other criminal activities who endeavor to achieve their objectives by the use of aircraft and airport entry points (Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, 2009).
Aircraft’s security personnel continuously ensure safe landing and takeoffs for aircraft and vigilantly monitor all activities within the airports and report any suspicious activities to support teams. These personnel work on well-designed and implemented security plans to ensure safe takeoffs and landing and delivery of cargo and passengers to target destinations. The security team ensures general security measures are well implemented by monitoring entry and exit points to airports and the aircraft ramp, and other entry points restricted to authorized personnel. They control and ensure taxis which are an important component of airport transport enter and leave through designated points and have no access to secluded areas.
In addition to that, this security personnel ensures airport vehicles are driven by appropriately skilled and genuinely licensed drivers bearing appropriate security badges. With the modern age of terrorism, continuous monitoring of activities could not be complete except for the installation of security outdoor lighting systems using security cameras.
These monitoring devices provide detailed data on an aircraft’s hangar area and parking points, fuels storage banks, all points of entry into the airport, and other points demanding vigilant observations. In addition to that, airports around the world incorporate police officers in their security network that provide security and security-related services ensuring a secure operating environment at all times for airport personnel, passengers, cargo, and for landing and taking off aircraft. These police officers receive support and reinforcements from regular police units around the world.
Airports demand a wide application of security personnel as thousands of people use them as transit points to their home destinations. This security personnel includes security coordinators with the primary role of coordinating airport security personnel on all matters related to security, ensuring efficient and real-time communication exists between security departments to ensure safe transitions occur through these airports, ensuring management are well versed on security issues and ensuring security personnel are well equipped and undergo continuous training on current and emerging security issues.
Terrorists can seize aircraft for the purpose of carrying out their criminal objectives. Security personnel has placed control measures targeting aircraft security. To that end, each aircraft and personnel are equipped with devices and measures to prevent and bar unauthorized entry into an aircraft’s restricted area, ensuring aircraft hangars are firmly secured and that ignition keys cannot be accessed or are not left inside an aircraft. Leaving ignition keys in an aircraft may provide an opportunity for terrorists to fly the machine to achieve a criminal objective.
Access to sufficient information about the clandestine status of customers and cargo is achieved through the use of x-ray systems. They provide information on any could be hidden weapons and other dangerous tools through x-ray imaging systems besides being security components incorporated into the security system. X-rays are also used as training tools.
To effectively run their security programs, airports incorporate security equipment into the lighting system. Efficient lighting systems provide the requisite lighting for personnel and aircraft when landing and taking off from these airports. These lighting systems enable aircraft pilots to see clearly in the event of bad weather or even when the weather is good. Lighting is a mandatory requirement for airports around the world.
Airport personnel ensures aircraft landing points are safe from snow and related debris by constantly monitoring aircraft runaways and removing threats presented to them. Debris, if ingested into aircraft’s engines have the potential to cause devastating accidents or expensive engine maintenance that may adversely hamper the smooth transfer of cargo and passengers to various destination points. In addition to that, airports integrate the use of radar systems for navigational and aircraft controls purposes (Vogel & Gregor, 2008). Aircraft are appropriately sequenced when landing and taking off to ensure safe landing and taking off. Radars provide efficient coordination services between different aircraft control points. This system also ensures aircraft do not collide when hovering over the airport, when landing, and when taking off.
Maintenance personnel is not left behind in this scenario. Different aircraft require different maintenance personnel who are well-skilled in maintaining complex aircraft systems. These span fuels systems, flight control systems, integrated engine systems, lubrication systems, cooling systems, and electronic systems. Well-skilled technicians logically proceed in diagnosing and troubleshooting various electronic components to ensure they work efficiently before an aircraft takes off.
Specific training to these technicians is the pattern training techniques using computers and other tools specific to identified training needs. In addition to that, maintenance personnel are well trained and skilled in the replacement of engines or aircraft engine parts that are costly and indispensable for the running of these fleets of aircraft. A host of specialized personnel trained in aircraft maintenance include areas such as aircraft hydraulic systems, fueling systems, and all other essential parts that coordinate for the full functioning of an aircraft. On the other hand, cargo handling is a component part of the efficient operation of airports.
Not all aircraft approach cargo handling in the same way. Larger aircraft are advantaged by their cargo handling strategies. An example is the Boeing 747. These models are designed with their nose and door capable of cargo intakes in a shorter time compared with smaller aircraft. Critical to handling large loads of cargo is the incorporation of hydraulic lifters that help in handling heavy loads.
On the other hand, emergency response personnel are uniquely featured by the complexity of the airport environment and associated needs of service needs. These units are characterized by instances of emergency responses to save lives, property, and the general public’s health. These units operate on sufficient resources and their immediate response to an incident or crisis may mean life or death to the victims. This personnel operoperateswell-designed emergency plans with well-organized and appropriately assigned duties. Each emergency response person and stakeholder bears individual responsibility to ensure timely and successful interventions in the time of need at different levels. Among the stakeholders are the hospitals.
Hospitals and hospital personnel take the responsibility of ensuring timely response to disaster or accident victims. A detailed location of an aircraft and the type of cargo on board is provided through these arrangements to ensure passengers on board utilize available personnel in the event of an incident demanding due attention. This incorporates occurrences that occur at all times passengers and cargos are within the jurisdiction of an airport or an aircraft. Specialized personnel ensure safe operations and provide real-timeresponsese to different types of accidents including a fire with specific responses.
A host of other responsibilities for these personnel span mutual Aid agencies responsible for ensuring emergency procedures adhere to standard operating procedures outlined for secure operations within the airports. In addition to that, customer services are characterized by faster turnaround time while staff productivity is improved all the time to reflect the dynamic nature of customer needs and behavior. Airport personnel and management are further characterized by utility services that offer enhanced service deliveries specific to customer needs.
Elias (2007) argues that efficient methods are put in place to ensure cargo arrives at the right destination safely. Measures in place ensure target destinations do not have their appropriate cargo lost on transit or directed to different destinations. In addition to that, these measures ensure congested airports and uncongested airports deliver cargo to the right destinations.
Besides the operations that are conducted by this personnel, training programs are well tailored targeting each department and touching on all airport employees. The human resource department plays a vital role in identifying training needs for this personnel to ensure tasks are efficiently run and coordinated. These personnel are drawn from a pool of well experienced and trained personnel to provide relevant trainings. The training is carried out efficiently and targets each department with appropriate needs. General Aviation (n.d) details that each of the training programs spans security and safety, disaster and emergency preparedness, and other general airport operations. This equips personnel with appropriate skills in efficient service deliveries.
In conclusion, since the invention of the concept of air travel and the aircraft as a tool to achieve that purpose, airports and air travel have been characterized by a myriad of activities in the world today. To efficiently and effectively transfer cargo, passengers, and materials from different destinations to target destinations, a host of personnel have been trained with appropriate skills to efficiently run these beehives of activities.
These span security personnel, airport and aircraft control personnel, control systems, pilots, security systems and standards, and maintenance personnel among a host of other of people (JAL, 2009). Activities such as ensuring runways are clear of debris, aircrafts land and take off safely, elimination of potential security threats such as terrorism attacks and relate fear, are effectively addressed. These are important in efficiently running any airport around the world and close coordination between these personnel and related activities are fundamental in achieving system efficiency.
Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General. (2009). TSA’s Role in General Aviation Security. Web.
Elias, B. (2007). Air Cargo Security. CRS Report for Congress. Web.
General Aviation. (n.d). Recommended Security action Items for fixed base Operators. Transport Security Administration. Web.
JAL (2009). JAL Group integrates Aircraft Maintenance Operations. Web.
Vogel, K, & Gregor, P. (2008). Agilent Airport ground radar System uses Agilent Acqiris PCI Digitizer cards. Web.