Today we quite naturally board an airplane to meet our business partners in Frankfurt or to go on our well-deserved holiday. And, as a matter of course, we expect that our safety is guaranteed at all times.
This is made sure by Committee 237 "Aerospace" at Austrian Standards, which is the national counterpart to technical committees at the European and international level. They take care to ensure that all the materials, components and equipment used live up to the highest safety requirements – both on the ground and in flight.
When you arrive at the airport before your flight, you already get in touch with a high number of standards as soon as you enter the departures hall. Airport facilities, including the so-called aircraft ground support equipment, are subject to strict regulations. In addition to basic safety requirements, such as stability and material properties, the measurement and test methods applied are standardized and defined as well. Departures and arrivals halls are the starting and ending points of air travels. These terminal buildings also comprise the ground handling area, the check-in area and the gates – an extensive field of work for Committee 237.
When boarding, loading and necessary service activities are completed, the aircraft may leave its parking position and go to the taxiway assigned to it. As the aircraft approaches the runway, another field of activities of Committee 237 comes into play. After all, both the allocation of slots for take-offs and landings and flight operation surveillance need to be governed by rules. The working group “Air traffic control” deals with these issues in detail.
Safety is of utmost importance not only on the ground but also in flight. In many cases, much Austrian know-how can be found aboard aircrafts. From parts for wings and landing flaps to modules for overhead bins and propulsion system components, Austrian companies supply high-tech products to the European aircraft industry. In the field of aircraft ground support equipment, too, domestic manufacturers are among the leading producers of passenger gangways, transport equipment and safety technology. The fact that companies based in Austria are able to compete successfully in the important high-tech aviation market is also a consequence of an active involvement in standardization activities both by competent institutions and the companies themselves. After all, only those who take part also have a say – on the ground as well as in the air.