Recently, staff members of Walvis Bay Airport Services attended a grueling IATA training course to obtain three different airport ramp and baggage handling certifications. These included Dangerous Goods (Cat 8 & 9), Ramp Handling & Supervisor and Baggage Handling. “The Dangerous Goods certification now makes WBAS the only airport ground handler in Namibia certified to handle dangerous goods at CAT 8 and 9 levels,” explained Danny Morkel of WBAS.
What makes this course even more significant is that the WBAS staff members complete this 10 day course in 4 days while still attending to ground handling and admin duties of aircraft and flights. “Due to time constraints of the course presenter and our duties at the airport we had to squeeze in the course in the shortest time possible, without compromising the course content,” said another WBAS staff member, Nadre Wiggle.
The three modules highlighted the important aspects of ramp and baggage handling safety and procedures. It also included dealing with difficult passengers and assisting passengers especially elderly, disabled without offending as well handling all baggage with caution to avoiding damages to the personal property of the passengers. Other aspects of the training focused on understanding on the packaging and marking requirements, emergency response procedures in the event of spills or terrorist threats and identifying potential smuggling activities.
In recent months WBAS has taken on various other airport services such as passenger check in and check outs as well meeting and directing passengers. “Dealing with the recent NASA research engineers, the various film crews as well other VIP passengers has helped us improve and add more value to our services,” noted Wiggle, “The course has given us better insight of what it means to be a ground or cargo handler and what role we play in the airports operations. We now have the knowledge and skills needed in order to provide the best and most efficient services to our aeronautical clients.”
A few days after this course the WBAS team underwent training in flight plan filing.