The airport, airside, and MRO sectors encompass a large quantity of aviation occupations; ground support operations (runway maintenance and construction services, emergency response and security personnel, as well as technical trades relating to aircraft, equipment and building maintenance. The size, type and governance structure of the airport adds to the complexities of this human resource issue as there may be other tasks that airside personnel do such as refueling, aircraft deicing and communication services.  However, an in-depth human resource sector study has not been conducted to date that determines the need and skill requirements for these airport and airside occupations. It was important to define the human resource trends, current occupations and requirements facing this important sector of aviation, so a study was completed in 2010.

This study identified a need for some form of training for Airside Workers before they experience the operational area of an airport environment.  An Occupational Standard was designed to prepare workers such as those involved with an airside construction project that has access to the air operations environment, contracted airside snow removal personnel, as well as airside support personnel involved with remote or  aerial spray / survey or resource exploration operations.

This Occupational Standard will include the required regulatory safety and security prerequisites for this occupational, as well as reference to other convening authorities such as customs and immigration, provincial and industry specific requirements.

The goal of this nationally standardized competency profile for workers in airside operations is to provide important guidance for employers involved in any form of airside activity involving ground personnel that are not covered by existing occupational standards such as refueler, or ground station agent. Examples of these Occupational Standards and competencies will include:

  • Safety and Security Prerequisites
  • Occupational Safety and Health Requirements
  • Security Clearances
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Aircraft Operations
  • Airside Vehicle Operator’s Permit (AVOP)
  • Transport Canada’s Safety Management Systems
  • Fatigue Management
  • Human Factors
  • Radiotelephony procedures

A course outline and certification examination has also been developed that can be developed in class or on-line.

Tasks Common to Most Airside Workers
(note that sub-tasks for each task are not shown below)

Block A — Workplace Health and Safety
Task 1 – Demonstrate healthy and safe practices and techniques in the workplace

Block B — Operational Safety
Task 2 – Demonstrate knowledge of airport operational safety, Safety Management Systems (SMS), wildlife management, FOD and other requirements and their relevance to safe operations at Canadian airports
Task 3 – Demonstrate safe behavior while operating vehicles / equipment or close to aircraft in accordance with rules, regulations, policies, directives, guidelines and SOPs
Task 4 – Demonstrate knowledge of airport visual aids
Task 5 – Understand the role of NAV Canada

Block C — Security
Task 6 – Demonstrate knowledge of Transport Canada (TC) security requirements

Block D — Human and Organizational Factors
Task 7 – General knowledge of human and organizational factors and how they impact all aspects of airport operational safety
Task 8 – Demonstrate effective communication, both written and oral

Block E — Fatigue Management
Task 9 – General knowledge of fatigue management and how it impacts all aspects of airport operational safety

Block F — Aircraft Operations
Task 10 – Knowledge of aircraft operations and how they impact all aspects of airport operational safety
Task 11 – Knowledge of hazard areas around different types of aircraft
Task 12 – Knowledge of the typical layout of airport aprons
Task 13 – Knowledge of vehicles, equipment and tools most commonly used on airport aprons
Task 14 – Knowledge of the most common causes of damage to aircraft
Task 15 – Knowledge of passenger safety on airport aprons and in passenger loading bridges

Block G — Emergency Procedures
Task 16 – Demonstrate knowledge of emergency preparedness procedures in an airport environment
Task 17 – Demonstrate fire prevention, reporting and response procedures

Block H — Leaks and Spills
Task 18 – Demonstrate leak / spill prevention, reporting and response procedures

Block I — Radiotelephony and Communication Procedures
Task 19 – Demonstrate proper operation of handheld radios