How Safair Uses D4H To Activate Their Airline Emergency Response Plan
Airlines have very detailed Emergency Response Plans to follow during an incident, emergency, or crisis. Here's how Safair deployed D4H Incident Management to help them ensure they're prepared to respond in the most effective manner possible should an incident arise.
Safair is a South African airline that handles both cargo and passenger flights. While FlySafair delivers people across the country, Safair assists aid and relief agencies such as the International Committee of the Red Cross in delivering much-needed humanitarian aid to stricken regions on the African continent as well as other areas in the world where such assistance is required. The safe and reliable delivery of their services is a priority for Safair and they have an excellent track record to demonstrate this.
For Safair, emergency response management means being prepared to effectively bring unplanned events to resolution. Medical diversions, extreme weather, passenger incidents, terrorist threats, and mechanical issues can escalate to a point where they need to be centrally managed and a wider incident management team becomes involved. Safair needs to be prepared to effectively coordinate such incidents using its Emergency Response Plan (ERP).
In times of emergency, airlines have very specific Emergency Response Plans to follow to ensure legal compliance and best outcomes. When an Emergency Response Plan is activated there can be information flowing in from multiple channels. With so many moving parts, airline incident management teams need a common operating picture that provides a single source of truth.
There are multiple checklists in progress during an emergency with each role undertaking work with authorities to ensure the safety of passengers, crew, the aircraft, and the airline’s brand. This can make it difficult for an incident emergency response manager to clearly see the progress being made by each division, branch, or department. Further, aviation incidents are often drawn out over multiple days, so good handovers between incoming and outgoing personnel are imperative. Safair needed a solution that would facilitate efficient progress tracking and handovers at both departmental and managerial levels.
Safair also needed to address the likelihood that an incident would involve complex geographical challenges. In such circumstances, ‘go teams’ are activated to respond to an incident on the ground. Go teams enable organizations to take control of the situation and their assets by filling the required roles of mechanics, senior pilots, spokespersons, and head of operations where an incident has taken place. They need the same ability to report and update information from the field using one centralized system for anyone on the incident management team to see, regardless of location. Whiteboards and flip charts in the Emergency Response Room would prevent them from being involved. Safair needed a solution that would clearly display all of the relevant information to both those involved in managing the incident remotely as well as those responding on the ground.
Real-time communication and collaboration are key in a coordinated response. D4H Incident Management is a 100% cloud-based Emergency Response Plan (ERP) system that can be accessed from anywhere, on any device. This enables Safair to ensure that should an incident arise, both those involved in responding to an incident and their management can look at the same common operating picture at all times. A fully cloud-based document library means that Safair can upload documents such as aircraft manuals, airline standard procedures and operating plans all into one central and remotely accessible location.
Since implementing D4H to manage their emergency response processes, Safair has benefitted from enhanced collaboration and communication during their incident training exercises.
The platform is completely configurable to suit the various plans and processes that Safair has set out for any given emergency situation. Checklists and preset roles are auto-assigned to members of staff and built-in status boards serve to track crew and passenger manifests. Anything from injuries to emergency accommodation placements can be tracked on pre-loaded status boards.
“Safety is a top priority for us. Should an incident arise, we need to be confident in our ability to quickly adapt to changing scenarios and maintain compliance at all times. D4H helps us achieve this.”
Eric Bodenstein, Manager of Flight Safety, Safair Operations (Pty) Ltd.
The software’s GIS functionality means that Safair can map, annotate and add image overlays of an incident. This provides an overview for those managing the incident remotely and allows everyone involved in the response to understand the geography of an incident they’re dealing with.
A simple and intuitive user interface eliminates the need for constant retraining and a full audit trail ensures that every decision made is recorded, providing clarity and transparency once an incident has come to a resolution. From there, Safair can automatically create an incident report containing all paperwork, photos, maps, and forms created as the situation was brought to resolution.