Three Tips to Build a Strong Training Culture

7.3 billion. That’s how many global airline passengers are forecast to travel annually by 2034.1

According to Frost & Sullivan Aerospace & Defense Senior Industry Analyst John Hernandez, “Airports need to implement swifter and more efficient methods of passenger screening” to deal with growing passenger traffic.1While Frost & Sullivan also projects global spending on passenger screening technologies will reach $1.63 billion in 2020 (up from $1.42 billion in 2014) to continue to improve screening operations, the research firm also concludes, “Technology is only as efficient as those operating it.”1

Great Equipment Needs Great Technicians, Who Need Great Training

Airport operations leaders know that the equipment is also only as good as the maintenance structure that keeps it running smoothly.

And while standards exist in some countries for how many field service engineers (FSEs) or technicians (FSTs) are needed to support a certain number of explosive detection systems (EDS) machines within a terminal or airport, increasingly, these experts are expected to understand and service more types of equipment faster.

Efficiency is the key to success for these FSEs/FSTs. And that requires good training.

Three Expert Tips to Build a Strong Training Culture

Here are three expert tips to help build a strong training culture for your airport.

  1. Provide thorough training at state-of-the-art facilities with field-service experts.

Traditional classroom training from seasoned field experts will help form the foundation of your team’s understanding of your EDS equipment and should be made available to a range of equipment operators, as well as in-house and third-party airport technicians.

A strong training program will provide hands-on simulator- and emulator-based training with small class sizes. This will help to ensure teams understand basic operations; simple troubleshooting, such as bearing replacement and clearing bag jams; as well as more advanced preventive maintenance techniques, such as reading and interpreting error logs and using other available analytics tools.

Trainees should receive certificates for successfully completing the modules, and, ideally, annual certification and recertification coursework to validate learning and that knowledge and ensure skills are kept up to date.

  1. Make training and education a part of everyday work.

Classroom training is only part of the answer. To keep equipment operating smoothly, foster an environment that supports learning every day.

Make sure newer employees are teamed with experienced technicians to learn best practices for preventive and routine maintenance, as well as urgent repairs.  Just as importantly, encourage every employee to feel confident that it’s always okay to ask questions—even for equipment they’ve been working on for years.

  1. Build convenient learning tools for different types of learners.

To build an environment of continual learning, you also need to provide convenient learning tools, tailored to different learning styles.

This can include dynamic online documentation that reflects most recent best practices and covers the most up-to-date parts and equipment instructions. It can also include a video library for those who work best with step-by-step instructions. And a physical training environment and sample parts will help employees who learn by tinkering.

These resources are especially important as teams take on responsibility for more and more types on equipment, or if they work on certain equipment only sporadically.

Learn how our expert training options can give your teams the skills they need to keep your screening equipment operating in peak condition. Download our Guide.

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John Darling

As a manager of field operations, John Darling is responsible for leading and developing multiple teams across a large region that includes service and installations for many types of equipment. Since joining our team as a field service engineer in 2012, John has held a variety of other positions including national technical support, supervisor of field operations, and operations manager. John has over 20 years of experience in the airport industry, originally working in aircraft maintenance for major airlines. John holds a BS in Business Administration from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mi.

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