The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) last Friday organised a Foreign Object Debris walk (FOD) as parts of efforts to ensure safety at the country’s airports and to create awareness of the dangers of damage from foreign objects.
FODs include small rock segments, plastics, chunks from suitcases, bolts, wildlife and pieces of wood which are handpicked from the northern and southern parts of the airport in a 13-kilometre radius each of the airstrip to the centre point of the runway.
The exercise forms part of GACL’s 2019 Safety and Environment Week which was sponsored by Emirates Airlines which donated 10 waste bins to the GACL.
Employees from various departments of the GACL took part in the exercise and handpicked foreign objects from 9:40 am to 11:50am.
Mr Charles Hanson Adu, Group Executive, Airports Management at Ghana Airports, described the exercise as encouraging and said the safety and environment quiz that was organised as part of the 2019 Safety and Environment Week was the most participated and successful programme since the inception of the Safety and Environment Week.
The Manager of Safety and Environment, Mr Edmund Quartey, said beyond the regular clean-up exercises by the landscaping team from the GACL, there was the need to ensure that the airside was not only safe but also devoid of any debris that had the potential to cause damage to aircraft.
Mr Quartey mentioned that some of the debris were capable of attracting birds and causing ‘bird-strike’, a situation which he described as the collision between birds and the aircraft.
He underscored the need to constantly prioritise safety at airports stating that “any accidents that occur can have great economic impact on the company and the country at large.
“We believe that constant safety checks will ensure that the country becomes the safest aviation hub in West Africa and the preferred destination for flights and travellers,” he said.
Mr Quartey further revealed that to ensure safety on a daily basis at all the airports, the GACL had incorporated quality output strategies to sensitise employees to issues of safety at the airports.
“Any FOD material could cause an explosion or serious damage to the aircraft as a result, we at the safety and environment unit always strive to ensure that the runways are devoid of FODs,” he added.
The quiz, organised as part of the Safety and Environment Week, assessed the understanding of employees on safety at the airports.
Emirates Airlines awarded Mr Baffour Asare Opong of the Rescue and Firefighting Services unit of GACL with a business class ticket to Dubai, a trophy and certificate for winning the safety and environment quiz.
The first runner-up, Adam A. Sadique and the second runner-up, Rich Sena Kobla Worchie, each received economy class tickets, a trophy and a certificate.