Take a walk (a virtual one) on the tarmac
Published on 16th May 2016
virtual tarmac cropped

One of our ground team checking out the VR technology

It’s all hands on deck when the Q400 regional aircraft pulls up outside the terminal with teams of refuellers, caterers, cleaners and engineers ready to unload and prepare the aircraft for its next flight.

It’s like a coordinated pit crew  – each team focused on getting their job done, quickly and of course safely.

And for our baggage handlers it’s no different but the tarmac area can be a hive of activity and one that has a few risks if you’re not aware of what’s happening around you.

So the team at QantasLink have created a new training aid using Virtual Reality technology to ensure everyone stays safe on the ramp.

Hazard training is a must for anyone needing to operate in this sort of dynamic environment. The challenge has always been to make the training feel as real as possible, without of course creating any real hazards in the process.

That’s why we’re asking team members to take a step into the virtual world – or onto the virtual tarmac to be exact.

We’re using Virtual Reality goggles as a different way to present safety training. We made a two-minute clip of people loading a Q400 and deliberately staged 11 hazards and errors, as well as a number of things that are considered best practice.

In doing this, our people become increasingly aware of the hazards and risks that they may have become blasé, if not blind to.  The fun part is that by using Virtual Reality goggles the experience becomes immersive.  It feels like you are right there on the tarmac – just like sitting in the Captain’s seat in a flight simulator.

Take a look below and move around the image to see what happens on the ramp during a typical QantasLink turnaround.

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