Airport Safety

An effective Safety Management System (SMS), approved and controlled also by ENAC, is in place at the Milan airports.

Airport safety policy principles

The principles on which the Airport Safety policy of the SEA Group are based are as follows:

  • to guarantee the design and constructive compliance, and its maintenance over time, regarding the flight infrastructure, plant and equipment with national and international standards in relation to the design, efficiency and effective usage, ensuring the maintenance of the highest safety and service quality levels;
  • to ensure an ongoing review of operating processes and procedures to achieve the highest compliance possible with national and international regulations concerning safety, quality and operational efficiency/efficacy;
  • introduce a systematic, recurring and adequate training plan for all personnel, with priority for those involved most in operating processes, with particular focus on the requirements and consequent actions and conduct necessary for maximal security, quality levels, regularity of service and efficiency.

Intervention policies

The discussion and analysis of issues which form the bedrock of the Safety Management System takes place monthly at the Safety Boards and Safety Committees of Linate and Malpensa, ensuring a complete and extensive handling of the operational security issues. The active involvement of all airport operators, airlines, institutional bodies and parties involved in the various activities at the two airports - which were stepped up further in 2013 - ensures wide ranging discussion and constructive debate on the major issues.

The following activities of specific issue groups continued:

  • Local Runway Safety Team;
  • Bird Strike;
  • Emergencies (simulation of “Full Scale” emergency);
  • Ramp safety;
  • Refuelling with passengers on board or being boarded/disembarked.

The prevention and mitigation actions, where necessary, are identified and handled in a systematic and ongoing manner.

A high quality level of the results achieved by the SMS also in 2013 contributed to a more efficient management of insurance premiums. 

The SMS monitoring and the collation of specific data initiatives were further improved. The safety events (Ground Safety Report) highlighted during the year were the subject of systematic surveys, appraisal and classification, based on the rules defined and communicated also with other operators at the periodic meetings of the Safety Committee. A review of the classification of events was carried out, utilised also by the technical working group set up by Assaeroporti, with the involvement of SEA, in order to create a standard discussion instrument for safety among all the major Italian airports.

Safety Management Land side

The Safety Management System at an airport is related also to the management of flora and fauna and concerns the following issues:

  • safety aspects;
  • management of the obstacle maps;
  • mitigation actions;
  • landscape aspects;
  • attention to biodiversity.

Every airport, as a true and proper ecosystem (although semi-natural), is a unique entity and is therefore treated as such. SEA has developed within its airports a policy for the reduction/control of “wildlife strike “risk/management of green areas” which concerns: 

  • periodic inventory of the fauna and internal conditions;
  • control of the height of grass, hedges and plants;
  • wildlife control (rabbits, hares etc.);
  • actions in the surrounding areas to reduce attractivity.

In order to make the airport less attractive to birds, specific environmental research was initiated at Linate and Malpensa airports.

This study produced a series of recommendations or guidelines for the reduction of wildlife strike risk, relating to the environmental aspects of the airport, with particular regard to the management of green areas.

The first natural study commissioned was completed in 2002 by the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Pavia; subsequently, Bird Control Italy and the Department of Biology at the University of Pisa carried out the research studies and since 2011 annual updates have been carried out by Bird Control Italy of the results attained, in order to improve ornithological knowledge in relation to the airport environment.

An annual updating of this research is scheduled, which in addition to evaluating bird strike risks due to the presence of winged animals and mammals at the airport and the internal environmental attractions, analyses any external attractions in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

Wildlife Strike: prevention and monitoring

The prevention and monitoring actions of wildlife strikes are governed by the “birds and wild animal’s impact risk reduction plan” and the relative operating procedure, both included in the Airport Manuals (separate for Linate and Malpensa) and prepared by SEA as the airport manager, in compliance with circular ENAC APT 16/2004 and certified by the agency. They are also periodically audited by the authority and by internal personnel.

The aspects related to the specific issue of bird strikes are covered in Circular ENAC APT-01B “Directive on procedures to be adopted for the prevention of impact risks from winged animals at airports”, in line with the ICAO Annex 14 provisions. Both the Plan and the Operating Procedure comply with the guidelines with the circular, guaranteeing ongoing monitoring and repelling of birds and fauna from the airports. 

Particular attention is given to the manoeuvre area, with the use of modern equipment acquired on the international market. In support of this activity, SEA utilises the company BCI (Bird Control Italy, the sector leader in the prevention of bird strikes and which carries out operations at the majority of Italian airports). 

All actions carried out are documented with the bird strike monitoring form and the bird strike reporting form, which inform a database managed through the “Bird Strike Management System“software programme. The preventative measures adopted concern the monitoring and the ongoing removal during daylight by biologists and bird experts within the Bird Control Unit. The unit continually inspects the airport on board a vehicle equipped with vehicular and portable repelling systems. Also, at both airports a fixed removal system called “Space Control” is in place, in addition to a series of noise deterrent devices. Also through two specific agreements drawn up respectively with the Province of Milan and the Province of Varese, SEA places particular attention on the green areas in order to manage the complex flora-fauna eco-system and to ensure, in order to maintain the best safety conditions for operations, that particular attractions for winged animals and fauna are not in place at the airports.

Compared to 2013, the bird strike events at Linate reduced (from 66 to 30), while at Malpensa the number of events remained more or less unchanged (52 compared to 50 in the previous year), as may be seen by the annual rate per 10,000 movements (3.2 for Malpensa and 2.7 for Linate) and by the risk indicator (BRI2) in the table. SEA continues its control and management activity if the phenomenon by systematically implementing prevention and mitigation actions. At Malpensa, the differing surrounding natural environment, the behaviour of dangerous species (pigeons, crows and kestrels), together with the proper management of green areas, enables the containment of interference from fauna to air traffic.

Wildlife striking risk indicator (BRI2)

Wildlife Strike (*) 0.31 0.28 0.20 0.19 0.17 0.19

 (*) Risk indicator BRI2 calculated according to the new Circular APT-01B ENAC

Source: SEA

Safety Management System Indicators

In order to monitor the efficacy of the airport Safety Management system, SEA utilises a number of quantitative elements both at Linate and Malpensa. The Safety Management System is controlled and certified by ENAC and the ENAC supervision team also verified its substantial correctness. The indicators of the principal events encountered at the SEA Group airports do not highlight particular problem area in terms of the maintenance of adequate levels of aeronautic safety. The percentages of the three major indicators for the GSR (Ground Safety Report) received are reported below.

Aircraft damage 5.4 4.2 4.9
FOD 3.7 4.8 5.6
Right of way violation 7.7 8.4 8.0

Aircraft damage 3.8 2.5 6.5
FOD 2.5 3.5 3.9
Right of way violation 9.3 4.3 6.2

Note: Compared to the previous report, the data is provided in percentage form