Safety begins with an effectively functioning AEP

Fundamental to any safe airport operation is the Airport Emergency Plan. More formally, the Essendon Airport Pty Ltd Aerodrome Emergency Plan (AEP), the plan details the arrangements for control, command and co-ordination of the response to any emergency within the airport or its immediate surrounding area. It’s proportionate with the scale and type of aircraft operations, the surrounding geography and the other activities at Essendon Fields Airport.

“The success of any AEP involves the collaboration of all key stakeholders,’’ said Essendon Fields’ Operations Manager, John Nahyna.

Essendon Fields Airport invests a significant amount of resources to ensure all key stakeholders are united in its direction and success.

“We have an EAPL Aerodrome Emergency Committee (AEC), who consist of representatives of emergency services and other organisation considered likely to assist in an emergency such as key operators, Airservices Australia and our own Essendon Fields staff,” said John.

“Our intent is to ensure all members of the Aerodrome Emergency Committee can work effectively together, and that all responders are familiar with the plan and airport operations. This can be a unique challenge for emergency responders who might not be based at the airport,” he said.

Essendon Fields hosts an annual emergency exercise, either desktop or full scale and onsite, as part of its safety training process. This ensures that the AEP is always functional and effective, and support organisations understand their respective roles and responsibilities to ensure a co-ordinated approach.

“It’ s also critical to align our AEP with our operators emergency plans. For example, in the case of an emergency involving an aircraft, by being familiar with our operators plan, we’re able to obtain information and respond as quickly as possible.”
John says the plan is reviewed and updated at a minimum, annually. Any changes might be suggested through discussions at the Aerodrome Emergency Committee, feedback from tabletop or full-scale exercises, or from real safety events, and must be agreed by the committee, before being formalised.

Every evaluation of the plan involves significant stakeholder engagement, including seeking input from parties such as Fire Rescue Victoria, Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, Victorian State Emergency Services, AirServices Air Traffic Services and Air Operators.

“There is an audit compliance element to the review process of the AEP and I’m happy to say they show that our safety standards meet the highest standards of the industry.”


Essendon Fields Health and Safety Month | October 2023

We’re promoting all things health, safety, and wellness this October at Essendon Fields. From personal wellbeing, to safety at work and across our airport operations, we welcome our community to learn, engage and get involved. Visit more via