Your Safety At The Ramp

What is the Ramp?
Generally I would say it is a place where planes park in a lay man's language.

Most of us may not have set our eyes on the Ramp even though we are frequent travelers. We may have however heard of workers who have been ingested by plane engines. The general notion is that we as travelers are not prone to this kind of risks when travelling. If you are boarding from well developed airports, you may never have time to set foot on the Ramp leave alone set you eyes on it. Precautions have been taken to ensure such does not happen, so your safety has been taken care of. Once in awhile or more frequently you may have to use airports which do not have such kind of facilities, you may be required to use the Ramp when boarding or disembarking. As much as the airline and airport authorities have put measures to ensure your safety, I believe in taking full responsibility of my life and so should you.We are going to have a look at a few travel tips that you should know in case you find yourself within the Ramp when travelling. Remember you can also find yourself in this kind of situation in well developed airports as well in case of emergencies, so let's go through this together.

The Ramp is one noisy place from the equipment and vehicles at the ramp as well as the planes. This noise can be damaging to the ears more especially the ones from a running engine. The longer the exposure the more at risk your ear drums are. I always make a point of carrying some earplugs to keep of the noise as well as protect my ear drums. You will also find them in handy if you are trying to have some sleep on board, you never know who your neighbors are going to be. I once sat beside a couple who talked all night, I was grateful I had my earplugs at hand. I was able to take a good nap before landing.

The Ramp is a busy place, there will be baggage trolleys being towed around, flight steps, fueling vehicles, passenger buses and vans among others. Let us say it can be more chaotic than the normal road you use, the good thing is that if you have to use the Ramp, there are airport and airline staff to guide you through to avoid you from running into or being run into. There are also clear marking to indicate passenger walkways. It is always safe to follow the markings which resemble the normal zebra crossing we are all familiar with, in some cases they may be in form of footprints. When in doubt, always ask the staff around for direction and safe walkways. Most airport will provide you with a bus so you will not have to do the walking.

Engine thrust
A moving plane always has an engine trust and it is powerful enough to blow away a truck, that is how powerful a thrust can be. The airline or airport authorities will not allow you to go near a live engine, however if you find yourself at the ramp and plane taxiing in or out, keep off till the plane is well parked and engines turned off or has taxed off completely. It is also good to know that there have been cases where workers have been ingested by engines when aircraft are parked. Yes this can happen if the engines were come live by fault, be on the look when boarding or disembarking via the Ramp. Follow airline staff instruction and directions to the latter. 

Spillage may occur from any equipment at the Ramp, airport authorities always make sure that this is cleaned up immediately. However if you are the first to note spillage, go round it and let the staff know about it. Spillage can cause fall downs and injuries if stepped on, the same goes for water spillage during and after rain. Since you can not go round a wet Ramp due to rain, be careful and steady in your steps.

I know how much you may want that puff more so if you are in a non smoking airport. Whatever you do, never ever smoke at the Ramp, smoking at a petrol station will be much safer than smoking at the ramp. There are hundred of oil pipes and vents at the ramp. Most vents will be in operation (engaged) as planes have to be fueled, a tiny spark can easily cause a huge blast and a blinding fire for the whole airport. The ramp is one of the most dangerous places in the world when it comes to fire outbreaks, keep that cigar as far away as you can when at the ramp.

The same reason you are advised not to pick your calls at a petrol station applies to the Ramp. The magnetic fields and the oil vapors more especially during fueling can easily cause a fire. Keep cool and take that call inside the plane, you will have time to communicate before take off. The chances of a spark fire are minimal but not impossible as all precautions have been taken into account, I prefer to always be on the safer side that regret later and besides there is too much noise to have any effective communication at the Ramp.

Safety cycle
Airport authorities always ensure a safety cycle around an aircraft. Passengers as well as equipment are not allowed to encroach this space either for the safety of the passengers or the safety of the aircraft. You may notice cones put at specific points of the plane, it is simple avoid that safety parameter. You will also find staff to guide you accordingly, the safely circle will prevent you from approaching the engine even if it is idle and passing under the wings. Even if it is raining, you will not find shelter under the wings, it is a no go zone.

 It is my hope that you have learnt something new today. Do you know of any safety tips for the Ramp. Please feel free to share, we will be glad to answer any of your questions too.


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