Exhibition showcases safety aspects at Praslin airport |18 September 2023
A week-long exhibition showcasing different safety aspects at the Praslin domestic airport and a Foreign Object Debris (FOD) walk at the Grand Anse Praslin airport’s compound to retrieve trash, rocks, and any objects deemed hazardous to planes, were the main activities to mark this year’s African Airports Safety Week.
Hosted by the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) to highlight the different measures in place in line with international norms, the activities, launched at the Seychelles International Airport on Mahé last Monday, ended on the second largest island last Friday, with a final viewing of the exhibition at the airport’s grounds.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Praslin airport manager, Tony Larue, expressed his appreciation that Praslin airport, albeit a domestic one, had been given the same attention as the international airport for the African Airports Safety Week, as it aims to comply with international standards.
He said Praslin’s activities were as successful as those on Mahé and thanked the SCAA staff, stakeholders and students who actively participated in the events, stating maintaining safety was everyone’s responsibility as emphasised by this year’s theme, ‘Safety is our priority - Let us prove it’.
“It is a collective effort that should be taken seriously. I therefore urge everyone to help the airport management to maintain a high level of safety at our airport,” he said.
Mr Larue added that SCAA was increasingly engaged in the implementation of its Safety Management System (SMS), not only because it was a required element of an airport operations, but because they could see its benefits.
“I realise that our staff needs additional training to be fully engaged in the implementation of the SMS and I wish to thank the safety management team of SCAA for their support to help us achieve further. We would need to educate our staff and stakeholders on how to report in the safety reporting system of the airport,” he stated.
In an interview with the local media, Mr Larue said the FOD walk at the Praslin domestic airport showed that the airport compound was generally clean, an indication “that there has been a lot of efforts to maintain the area where planes operate, ensuring it remains in a safe state”.
Through its exhibition, passengers, stakeholders and Praslin students were able to view SCAA’s work with regard to safety and security. According to SCAA, several sensitive activities take place in the background, which the public are not mindful of. During the week they were made aware of how their activities may impact safety, as well as get a sense of comfort in terms of their safety, by learning about the procedures in place and how important they are to ensure safety.
When officially closing the week-long activity, SCAA’s aviation safety manager, Kisnan Tamatave, stressed on the need to maintain safety at all times, pointing out the cataclysmic impact on the country’s reputation, economy and employment if ever the airport’s safety was to be compromised.
“The theme allows us to reflect on our contribution to ensure that the airport operations are done in a safe manner every day. And it allows us to reflect on our functions as an individual or organisation in that chain, to ensure that all planes that land and take off at our airports are guaranteed to run smoothly, and that our operations and all passengers are safe,” he said.
The African Airport Safety Week started with a symposium on safety culture and compliance at airports, for the Seychelles’ aviation community.
Compiled by Patsy Canaya