Southampton Airport has a rich heritage in aviation, spanning over 100 years. Its first flight took place in 1910; the legendary Spitfire was born there in 1936 and now it employs around 185 staff, flies to 40 destinations and hosts almost two million passengers. Find out how management systems certification plays a key part in the next chapter of Southampton Airport’s illustrious history.
Southampton Airport employs over 180 staff and flies to 40 destinations with 21 airlines and tour operators hosting 1.83 million passengers in 2014. These stakeholders are at the heart of its commitment to best practice and continual improvement in Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) management.
Three commitments to best practice
Southampton Airport had a confident approach to SHE management but wanted to take the extra step of achieving accredited certification to two internationally recognised standards – namely ISO 14001 for environmental management and OHSAS 18001 for occupational health and safety management.
The three key reasons were:
- to validate the work that had been conducted so far
- to provide assurance to internal and external stakeholders
- to strive to improve SHE processes in-line with recognised best practice
Team work and stakeholder focus
The management system was a number of years in development with representatives across the business pulling together to make sure that first and foremost it meets the need of the businesses key stakeholders and secondly the requirements of the standards.
An integrated method of implementing the management systems provided clarity of approach across the business and facilitated a joint push toward the principles of Plan-Do-Check-Act across all management system disciplines. This engendered cross-functional team work and enabled more efficient and effective project management.
Benefits of cohesive management system
Southampton Airport chose NQA as its certification body and since achieving certification to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 has realised the benefits of a structured and cohesive management system.
Two NQA Assessors with specialist knowledge of the standards audited the systems. Tom Watmough, Safety, Health & Environment Manager for the Airport, commented:
“We found both NQA auditors approach very effective, they put the person they were speaking to at ease which allowed conversation to flow and a natural demonstration of the Management System. This approach worked very effectively.”
The future – asset management
Southampton Airport is now planning to implement further standards such as ISO 55001 for asset management. This builds upon its existing PAS 55 certification and further demonstrates strong commitment to the principles of continuous improvement embodied in the standards over a widening scope of management disciplines.
An ever present challenge is the effective and efficient management of the Airport’s resources and high-value assets – it is a large-scale operation which must run like clockwork every minute of the day.
The adoption of an ISO 55001 compliant asset management system will enhance the Airport’s methodology for managing safety, security, capacity, maintenance and future development whilst maintaining continuity of service.
"Certification is testament to Southampton Airport’s commitment to customer care, staff welfare and the environment – it opens the organisation to regular independent audits that rigorously test the delivery of its commitment” Matt Gantley, Managing Director, NQA
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