Airport Runway Workers on Foot More Vulnerable Than Other Pedestrians

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Airport and Airline workers are at significant risk of injury on the Airport Operations Area ("AOA") because of the loud aircraft noise, vibrations and jet fuel smells. Deprived of most senses, any distraction, by the pedestrian or the driver, can be catastrophic t the man or woman on foot.
Airport and Airline workers are at significant risk of injury on the Airport Operations Area (“AOA”) because of the loud aircraft noise, vibrations and jet fuel smells. Deprived of most senses, any distraction, by the pedestrian or the driver, can be catastrophic t the man or woman on foot.

When crossing a street, most ordinarily prudent pedestrians will use ALL of their senses in order to ensure their own safety. But on the runways of the major international airports, the noise, vibrations and sometime overwhelming smells of jet fuel and other chemicals deprive airline workers of these senses. So a worker on the Airline Operations Area (the “AOA”) has to rely almost soley on the sense of sight. And if an airport worker is distracted, they can be struck by a luggage tug, electric Cushman maintenance vehicle, food service truck or midfield terminal bus. Plus, there is a “pecking order” on the tarmac, so a fuel truck may suddenly stop to give the right of way to a small jet, which may also put on the brakes for a larger international aircraft. In short, the “sterile area” beyond the terminal can be drought with danger for the people on the ground that you see unloading luggage and packages from the belly of large jets and using illuminated signal wands to help aircraft safely taxi in and out of the airport gates.

For these reasons, the airport and airline workers operating vehicles on the AOA need to exercise extreme caution. They cannot play “chicken,” as was the case in a midfield terminal bus accident that Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau helped try to a record jury verdict in the Loudoun County Circuit Court. Nor can these vehicle drivers be distracted by their cell phones, text messages or other electronics that take their eyes off the road. Having represented airport and airline workers who have had their feet crushed, their knees damaged and their necks and spines permanently impaired, lawyer Landau has seen the devastation caused by crashes on airport byways, luggage tunnels and roadways. These cases often result in Workers Compensation claims. Sometimes these airport incidents can lead to a personal injury case against the driver who hit the pedestrian, if the vehicle operator does not work for the same airline or other air travel company. An injured worker is generally not allowed to sue a co-worker or employer, even if these careless Defendants caused needless injuries. In cases involving permanent disability from work, clients of the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU are also assisted in applying for Social Security Disability benefits.

If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an airport vehicle crash, pedestrian accident, ground crew mishap or other air travel related accident and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.