This paper stipulates out how the British Airways company instills its safety and security measures to its customers and also its staff. It also explains, in brief, some of the disaster management techniques required in any organization to prevent accidents and eventual loss of life. The paper also gives the general rules and regulation on boarding a plane and the safety measures required in case an accident occurs. The paper also focuses on ways which British Airways is undertaking to prevent and secure itself from disasters on the airline industry despite the growing cases of disaster outbreak.
British Airways Aviation Safety
These are the general airline safety tips which must be adhered with whenever one is taking the flight to any part of the world. According to airsafe.com, it highlights that the airline passengers have to deal with constant changes in the airport security, airline baggage rules. Therefore our main focus is to understand how the British Airways maintain their safety and security measures on the airlines (airsafe.com, 2010).
Background of British Airways
British Airways (BA) was created in October 1935 by the merger of three smaller airline companies. The company received stiff competition forcing the parliamentary committee of the United Kingdom to propose the nationalization and merger of Imperial and British Airways. This merger led to the formation of the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) on November 24, 1939.
British Airways is the largest airline in the world and is based at Heathrow Airport in London. It is the busiest international airport in the world and has a global flight network through partners like the USAir in the United States, the Qantas of Australia and TAT of European Airlines in France. The airline company serves 95 million passengers a year using 441 airports in 86 countries and more than 1,000 planes.
British Airways first Concorde was introduced in 1976; it was manufactured by both British aeroscope and the French firm Aerospatiale. The supersonic Concorde is capable of carrying 100 passengers at a speed of 1,350 miles per hour at an altitude of 55,000 feet. This reduced the time for the flight from New York to London by half.
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The British Airways holding a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating License and which permit’s them to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with twenty or more seats.
According to ehow.com, it suggests that the British Airways is one of the world’s largest commercial airlines that promote itself as an aviation industry, claiming to work diligently with regulatory bodies worldwide to continuously monitor the safety procedures of air travel (ehow.com, 2011).
The Civil Association Authority (CAA) is a governing body whose duty is to oversee the airline industry’s economic and technical regulation in the UK through issuing of domestic route licenses. In the early 70s, CAA was very restrictive to the rules which were governing it, but it gradually became more flexible in the 80s. Thus, by the year 1985, they allowed licensing of many other competing services with the same company of British Airlines even though it was at the risk of destroying the existing British service. After the restrictions were removed, entering to UK domestic airline market has been free except for some services at the Heathrow Airport.
These important challenges affect sustaining of the profitability of airline companies. Majority of airlines around the world are encountering a growing wave of liberalization that has created room for stiff competition from the new low-cost airlines and restructured carriers. Due to the fast growth of the global airline industry and the continued threat from terrorist attacks, it has created security and safety disorder to the passengers. Therefore, theirs is a great need to expand on aviation infrastructure of both airports and air traffic control, for particularly the emerging companies.
The main objective is to establish the British Airways safety measures to its customers and its own staff within itself and further to its customers prior to taking a flight. It is also how the technical and other staffs are imparted with the knowledge on the organizational safety and further to determine their technical preparedness to handle disasters.
- Find out British Airways in-house safety measures
- Establish how technical and other staffs are familiarized with the organization’s safety measures.
- Determine British Airway’s technical readiness to handle safety disasters
This review is to establish how the British Airways do their in-house safety measures and ways in which they sensitize their staff. This will be in regards to the emerging disasters and how they mitigate and further this review will discuss more on the general disaster management on aviation industries.
In-house safety measures
The following safety measures are required for a safer air flight for anybody who is taking a flight. Many people inquire about the airline company first before booking for the ticket to be sure of the security of himself. Thus, a ranking of airlines per passenger flown does not give assurance about the safety of the airline. Rather, from the statistics for accident relating cases for an airline is a guarantee for safety. The other factors could include the environment an airline operates whether mountainous terrain or frequent storms and airport security cases of hijacking or bombing attempts.
According to the Great Britain Parliament, House of Commons, transport committee, it states that the British Airways requires to put more effort for them to secure steadiness and synchronization of aviation security measures with major overseas partners especially the US. They, therefore, recommended that there must be a focus on ensuring the basics are correct and must meet the emerging threats and risks that is appropriate, rather than concentrating on existing problems by means of using expensive additional measures which lack effectiveness due to their difficulty and lack of credibility.
According to IATA, this improvement has been due to preventive strategies founded on “technology, human factors and risk management systems, change management, engineering reliability and maintainability”. However, the possibility of an accident is always present and airlines are expected to be in a constant state of readiness (Henderson 2007, p.129)
Sensitization and awareness creation to the staff and passengers
British Airways Company has done a lot in curbing with an accident by using the advanced aircraft which are efficient for transportation. Furthermore, the company has a modern air traffic control technology and also quick emergency planning and quality cabin safety.
The company employees qualified staffs that are selected through a rigorous International Aviation standard which one must show competence of the required skills. The following rules and regulations must be followed to the latter by flight passenger to ensure personal security. (Churiwala & Gabran 2011)
According to Lord Alec Broers on air travel and health, The British Airways has always published health information on its website since the year 2000. This comprehensive information is found under the “Health and well-Being” page of the information section of the website. This is complemented on-board through video and audio presentations and by some form of guidance in the flight magazine called High Life. The website also advises customers on their queries about their fitness to contact the British Airways Passenger Medical Clearance Unit before the departure time and for those with special needs to contact the reservation team with full contact details. (Broers p. 3).
The general rule is that smart travelers always listen to the safety briefing because they are keen and they value their lives. The following are tips for passengers to ensure that you are familiar with the aircraft.
- Always make sure to go through passenger safety card before takeoffs and landings.
- Be mentally prepared to act fast on any emergency in case it arises. Identify exit point from where you are seated.
- Ask the flight attend questions on where you do not understand on safety procedures of the aircraft.
The passengers are also informed to be aware of what they bring in the board. In many cases, most airlines restrict carry-on baggage to two pieces per passenger. They are also advised to avoid carrying heavy items with sharp pointed edges which are hazardous.
British Airways in order to make sure that they provide more safety and security has imposed the restriction which stipulates that the minimum age limit for a passenger should be twelve years. The security restriction requires that all passengers provide a notification of all their names with a minimum time of twenty-four hours notice before the departure time. Also, all guests are required to produce any two forms of identification such as a driving license, a passport or a company ID card. The Cabin Evacuation Exercise is done by use of simple artificial smoke. When prior training is required in cabin safety, training is usually done to all passengers, unless those who have medical problems such as asthma and any heart conditions are exempted. Their event also involves a degree of physical mobility and that may not be suitable for some people who are medical unfit for the exercise. They further perform emergency evacuation slide descents; therefore, they recommend some people not to take part with the exercise. They include; ladies who are, or could possibly be pregnant, anyone with back, joint or mobility problems. Also, some dressings are not recommended such as sandals, shoes with higher heels more than 25 mm, open toed or open backed shoes are not allowed to be worn. Although protective clothing is provided like the apron, they recommend that ladies wear trousers.
Readiness to handle Aviation disasters and its management
If swift and bold steps are undertaken after a disaster, the result is always positive and reduces chances of loss of life. Further, the impact of the disaster can be reduced through the good understanding of preventive measures and action required to be done. The most challenging part of any disaster lies with the swiftness of how the disaster is being tackled with soberness. (Churiwala & Gabran 2011)
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According to the Churiwala & Gabran, disasters always occur in any part of the world, though certain areas are prone of to disaster. However, the developed countries have a far above the ground level of vigilance as compared to the developing countries (Churiwala & Gabran 2011). Some natural features like active volcanoes earthquakes cannot be stopped at all and moreover, they are actually the major cause of disaster all over the world. The greatest challenge here lies in how the country is technologically developed to withstand a disaster when it arises. Some countries like Japan and China are well known for their technology advancement, despite that, they were recently affected by an earthquake disaster which caused loss of life.
Further, according to the Great Britain Parliament for House of Lords on a select committee on Regulators, they argued that the British Airways acknowledges the need for effective controls. Specifically for the public interest in areas of such safety and security on the airspace design and market regulation where there is little competition. However, the regulatory framework set up by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), is a very old guide which assumes many significant structural changes in the aviation industry.
According to Jan De Boer, he argues that education and training is not merely important, but essential for disaster services. He further states that good planning and proper use of equipment may be of little or no use if the staff has not received appropriate orientation in the function of the safety equipment. Therefore, preparation must include identification of risks, planning of organization and equipment and perhaps most important, education and training. These provide a better base to counter a disaster to reduce its destructiveness to both people and even the destruction of the natural resources. (De Boer 482)
Thus it is important for any company to allocate more resources to their security measures to avoid a slight blunder of a total mess in case of disaster. Since many disasters are common nowadays it has led to more alert response companies to be set up to provide quick safety measures in many parts of the world. Hence many schools are providing some basic skills on disaster management in both lower and upper levels of learning.
In order to handle any incident in quick response, the British Airways have set up a team of dedicated engineers who are well trained to curb up with the raising demand in the airline sector who are well trained on the modern safety requirements and advanced skills on response to disaster and disaster management in the airlines.
Thus it is inadvisable that all passengers observe all the safety and rules required when taking a flight. This will lower the levels of disaster in case an accident occurs during the flight. This are simple rules which can be learned easily does not demand more knowledge but only sober mind.
- Boer, J. & Dubouloz, M. Handbook of Disaster Medicine, VSP, 2000.
- Churiwala, S. & Gabran N. “Disaster Management: Helping you to be prepared.” 2011.
- Henderson, J. Tourism crises: causes, consequences and management, Butterworth Heinemann, 2007.
- Lord Alec, Broers, Air Travel and heath; An update report with evidence 1st report of the session. The Stationery Office, 2007-08.
- Airsafe.com, “Top 10 Airline Safety Tips.” Thesafetyplace.org, 2011.
- eHow.com, “British Airways Flight Safety.” Demand Media Inc. 2011.