Day in and day out, there’s no greater commitment to you by RDU staff than to make sure that we are safe in everything we do.
Officially called “no discrepancies,” the classification on our recent Federal Aviation Administration Certification Inspection Report showed that there were no issues of concern regarding safety from the inspector that recently visited our facilities. Each commercial service airport is required to undergo a yearly FAA inspection in order to maintain its operating certificate.
The inspectors check a laundry list of items over the course of several days and nights. These include:
- Airport operating records
- Runways and taxiways
- Lights and signage
- Fire-Rescue equipment and training records
- Fueling facilities
- Unpaved areas of the airfield
However, these are just the general highlights. While the exact list is quite extensive, each element is critical for maintaining and operating a safe airport. We don’t wait for the yearly inspection to ensure that each of these items is taken care of. It’s the basis of our day-to-day operations.
While every airport employee is responsible for safety in their own area, three groups are specifically focused on airport safety. You may never interact with these employees while at RDU, but what they do is vital to RDU’s operations.
The airport operations staff is constantly monitoring our airfield, including the runways and taxiways. They conduct three comprehensive inspections every day. Our team also works very closely with our airline partners and the Air Traffic Control Tower to respond to issues affecting our airfield, whether it’s maintenance, weather or wildlife. They also train continually for various scenarios so that they’re ready to handle whatever comes to RDU.
Similarly, our Fire-Rescue department trains every week to be prepared for the many types of emergencies that could happen at the airport. They also work hand-in-hand with other agencies throughout the region to make sure we’re able to respond to everything from fuel spills to medical calls. They have to know details about all the different types of aircraft that fly through RDU.
Throughout the year, our maintenance team is on top of any issues that could pose a safety risk to the airport. From lighting outages and clogged storm drains on a taxiway to snow removal and runway repainting, they are here 24/7 to make sure everything works better than it should. Their biggest challenge is weather. When snow threatens, for example, crews work extra shifts or camp out at RDU for the duration to make sure we return to normal operations as quickly as possible.
All of our staff are incredibly dedicated to maintaining a safe airport, and you should expect no less. I’m proud of the no discrepancy rating. We’re working hard to fulfill our mission to provide you with a safe and world-class travel experience.