Safety in the air begins on the ground

December 28, 2018 17:17 PM Republica

KATHMANDU, Dec 28: The flight crew is not the only ones who take care of your safety when you fly with Buddha Air. When it comes to flying in an airline, most of the times, you only remember the activities of the pilots and flight attendants. But an airline has more to offer for the care and safety of its passengers. Take the Ground Operations for example. These people commit all their hours for the safety and security of the passengers. While the cabin crew takes care of things in the air, the Ground Operations take care of things on land.

“At Buddha Air, the Ground Operations Department mainly looks after the passengers and the baggage service,” says Ratna Rai, Senior Manager of Ground Operations. “We are the people you see from the ticket check-in counter at the airport to the moment you get on board.” While most airlines' ground department include other tasks like fuel refilling and onboard catering, at Buddha Air these tasks are handled by other departments so that the Ground Operations can focus more attention towards the passengers and aircraft maintenance.

The Ground Operations also consist of checking the aircraft for maintenance. Soon after the aircraft lands and the passengers are safely on the ground, the area around the aircraft is bordered with marker cones and its wheels are secured with chocks to prevent it from moving. Then the Ground Power Unit recharges the aircraft’s power through a generator. All of this is done while the aircraft is parked in the terminal gate. The Ground Operations also takes care of the aircraft cleaning and hygiene as well as transporting the air cargo.

But that is not the end of the story. Buddha Air makes sure that their employees are ready for any kind of events. Buddha Air does not allow dangerous items on their aircraft as it is not a Dangerous Goods Carrier. All airlines follow the international standard procedures. Buddha Air also invests time in providing their employees with training from experts. “We always have to be prepared for any kind of scenarios,” says Rai.

While the rest of the departments such as Flight Operations and Engineering Operations focus entirely on safety, Ground Operations need to balance both safety and service equally. “We understand that passengers expect three things from us, comfort, timeliness and safety. So we need to be able to cater accordingly,” says Rai. The Ground Operations stays alert and ready to tackle any issues. The employees are also taught to handle passengers with special needs such as the differently able, elderly, unaccompanied minors and pregnant women.

Ground Operations are not an easy task, especially when it comes to dealing with flight delays. In an international airport consisting of a single runway, the air traffic is quite busy. This means the Ground Operations department has to deal with flight delays quite often. Handling customers in such cases is where all the training pay off. The employees are taught to assess each flyer’s behavior depending on their character. So each passenger can be dealt individually, whether they are angry, nervous or anxious. This requires learning body language and facial expressions.

Even Presidents and delegates have to follow safety procedures. We cannot spare the safety concerns for anyone.” says Rai. Buddha Air is also required to turn down passengers when required. “When denying passengers to fly, we are more concerned about their safety than for the concern of the company. We cannot let sick or injured patients fly unless they have a Fit to Fly certificate," said Rai. This is because the high altitude might limit the oxygen available that might be a problem for those who are unwell. As for pregnancy, only pregnant mothers below 36 weeks are allowed to fly without a permit.

Safety is a top priority for Buddha Air. Whether you are in the air or on the ground, Buddha Air takes several precautions before, during and after each flight for the passengers' comfort and safety.

Note: This article is a paid content produced by Buddha Air.

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