SAA and the International Aviation Fire Protection Association (IAFPA) jointly organised the 15th IAFPA Aircraft Rescue and Fire-fighting (ARFF) Conference on 12–14 January 2015. An annual platform for the ARFF community to exchange knowledge, experiences, best practices and formulate strategies to cope with the evolving aviation landscape, the Conference welcomed some 100 delegates representing civil aviation administrations, airports, airlines, militaries, ARFF manufacturers and other related aviation organisations from 14 countries.
With the theme ‘Facing Tomorrow’s Challenges Today’, the Conference emphasised the importance of embracing change and strengthening partnerships in working towards a stronger ARFF community. Dr Michael Lim, Director of SAA, highlighted in his welcome address the need to sustain availability of qualified ARFF professionals through the development of strategies, practices and tools to attract, train and retain.
In his keynote address, Mr Cletus Packiam, Chairman for IAFPA and Chief of Airport Emergency Service, Changi Airport Group, Singapore, reaffirmed that the development of human capital is key to ensuring the preparedness of ARFF units in addressing the many challenges ahead such as the increasing growth in air transport, expanding airports and new emerging risks.
Over the three days, delegates engaged in active discussions on various topics including ARFF standards, training and planning, lessons learnt from aircraft accidents, and the future of aircraft engines and aviation foam.
Complementing the Conference was an exhibition featuring the latest technologies, systems and services relevant to the ARFF community. Site visits to aerospace companies showcasing aircraft engine technology and infrastructure, further enhanced the experience.