Airport FOD Meeting – Doing it Right

by GARY CHAPLIN

bigstock-Group-of-business-people-worki-45832645-510pxA solid airport-wide FOD Prevention effort depends on maintaining motivated team members. Any action you as coordinator take to recognize good work, promotions and even unrelated positive personal events (anniversaries, new children, etc.) promotes group relationships, cooperation and communication. Keeping meetings upbeat and rewarding improves attendance and participation in the resulting needed actions out on the airfield.

Enforce a strict policy requiring this meeting be maintained as a positive group effort to continuously improve a safety program of vital importance. (No finger pointing allowed. Leave the “sour grapes” back at the office.)

Basic Agenda

1) Introductions

Gets everyone focused, improves comfort level.

2) Review of Minutes from the Last Meeting

Have someone act as group secretary; taking good notes at every meeting. Have them written up as “minutes of last meeting” while memories are fresh. Accurate records will benefit everyone in the FOD Prevention effort.

3) Reports of FOD Damage

There is value to discussing accidents/incidents that have happened locally and system wide. Both air carriers and ground handlers should be encouraged to share their experiences and the preventative measures that were taken. If any high profile incidents have been covered in the media explore any implications to local operations.

4) Reports on current local FOD Program

Discuss successful activities, failures, changes, etc. Emphasize the importance of discussing challenges as well as successes.

5) New initiatives

Encourage everyone to brainstorm new ideas.  It is important to plan ahead for any initiatives that require new funding. Carriers and airports generally have tight budgets, and funding for things like poster campaigns, T-shirts, etc., must be submitted in a budget up to 12 months in advance.

6) Tour

A walking or bus tour energizes group members to observe problem areas first hand. The results of current FOD Program efforts and new initiatives can be discussed and evaluated. Seeing things in-person will generate ideas that might never surface sitting around a conference table.

7)Date of Next Meeting

The frequency of meetings will depend on the size of the airport and the activity. In some cases it may be desirable to meet monthly and in others quarterly. At small airports, FOD Control could be an agenda item of another regular meeting such as Airport Operations Committee rather than a separate committee.

8) Location of Next meeting

There is value in having airport tenants host some of the meetings.  For example, an airline catering company could be asked to host the meeting and be given the opportunity to present the steps that they take to control FOD in their operation. move things around to spur discussion and generate new ideas.

9) Requests and Suggestions for Agenda Items in Next Meeting

Don’t be shy about asking for input or placing some of the responsibility for areas of discussion on others.  Remember, everyone attending has a responsibility to make this successful – don’t feel like it all rests on your shoulders.  Expect participation and if you feel you are not getting it – stop and ask for it.  Make sure everyone understands that you can help facilitate discussion but that the meeting requires their input and energy to be effective.

10) Adjourn with Thanks and Positive Comments

Recognize those who participated and thank people for their input.

Want to learn more? Contact us for guidance on improving your FOD control program.

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