March 29, 2016

Media Advisory – Airport Safety Workshop

A workshop by several members of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s aviation faculty is aimed at assisting officials from several of the nation’s commercial airports implement Federal Aviation Administration safety initiatives. 

The “Safety Management Systems for Airports” workshop is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday, March 31-April 1, at the university’s Transportation Education Center at the Southern Illinois Airport. The two-day SMS workshop will provide tools for helping certified commercial airports develop or further their existing individual safety management systems. 

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the workshop. 

SIU aviation faculty have been involved with applied research in providing a systematic and proactive approach to safety management since it began working with the FAA as part of a pilot study in 2007.  Faculty including Michael F. Robertson, associate professor in aviation management and flight and the department’s safety officer, José R. Ruiz, professor and interim department chair, and Matt Romero, assistant professor, were involved in implementing safety initiatives at the Southern Illinois Airport several years ago. Robertson, Ruiz, and Romero will lead the workshop. 

Safety and operations managers from the following airports will be participating in the workshop:

Downtown St. Louis Airport; Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Tampa International Airport, Tampa, Fla.; Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Arlington, Va.; Washington Dulles International Airport, Dulles, Va., and Wilmington International Airport, Wilmington, N.C. 

The workshop will include a general SMS manual for each airport, with the goal of airports enhancing their individual plans through presentations and discussions. Topics will include formulating a safety policy statement; the process in identifying potential daily safety hazards, safety assurance, and developing a culture that promotes airport safety. 

For more information, contact Robertson at 618/453-8898 or by email at