Research Projects

Managing Safety in the Movement of People about the Airport Terminal

Assigned to Erik Bullard
Last Edited by Erik Bullard

Conduct research on the hazards, risks, and causes of accidents impacting the movement of employees, users, and stakeholders about an airport. A focus of the research should be on people moving infrastructure, such as elevators, escalators, and motorized carts; along with the causes and prevention of slips and falls.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

A significant percentage of injuries to passengers and employees at airports occur during movement about the airport. Such modes of movement include the use of devices designed for rapid transport of people around the terminal (escalators, moving walkways, trains, buses, carts, etc.). In addition, airports have common areas that are susceptible to slips and falls, as are most large, complex public buildings. For some of the airports adopting safety management systems (SMS) in the early stages of the initiative took on the hazards associated with people movement in the terminal as a subject of initial safety risk assessments. One airport discovered that the causes of injuries to passengers using people movers in the terminal were more times than not the responsibility of the injured passenger, that risk mitigation could be put in place and were effective in preventing a percentage of injuries, and that the efforts to reduce the risks were a key reason for a reduction in airport insurance premiums. Such mitigation can include increased CCTV coverage, training on how to identify hot spots, and how to analyze inspections and video analytics. These straightforward steps will help airports immensely in understanding and improving high risk areas and the responses to these incidents. Conducting research into this key category of airport safety hazards for the purposes of discovering and sharing the common causes and effective risk mitigation available across the industry would benefit airports of all sizes.
The risks associated with terminal transportation methods and people movement are not limited or unique to the airport industry. Such research should explore how other industries address similar hazards and look for risk solutions that can be adopted by airports. The research should include insurance companies as a source of information as they are an airport partner in the management of risk.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

A report on the hazards, risks, and causes of accidents impacting the movement of employees, users, and stakeholders about an airport. A focus of the research should be on people moving infrastructure, such as elevators, escalators, and motorized carts; along with the causes and prevention of slips and falls.

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Idea No. 359