Avalon Airport wins at 2021 Geelong Business Excellence Awards

Article supplied by: Avalon Airport

Avalon Airport is thrilled to take out the Safe & Healthy Business Award in the prestigious 2021 Geelong Business Excellence Awards. 

The awards ceremony was delivered online for the second year running due to Covid-19 restrictions, and a small number of the team gathered in the Avalon Airport cafe to celebrate being shortlisted for four awards: Medium to Large Business (sponsor: EML); Innovation, Research and Development (sponsor: VIVA Energy Australia); Corporate Social Responsibility (sponsor: genU) and Safe & Healthy Business (sponsor: WorkSafe).

Qantas queues at Avalon Airport in 2020The team was thrilled to win the WorkSafe sponsored Safe & Healthy Business Award. The airport has always made safety a priority, and completed major upgrades across 2020 that furthered their commitment to creating a safe and healthy space for staff and passengers.

During the 2020 lockdowns Avalon Management also prioritised the protection of jobs as much as possible, creating pathways for staff to learn and take on new roles or to work for other companies.

The awards period, which ended in May this year, covered a very difficult period in the airport’s history. Covid-19 had stopped flights in their tracks mere weeks after the launch of Citilink flights to Bali last year. Twice daily AirAsia flights to Kuala Lumpur as well as domestic Jetstar flights were all performing strongly before the pandemic disrupted the world. As borders between countries and states shut down one by one, the airport was left with some truly challenging decisions to make.

Avalon backed itself, choosing to continue with planned upgrades to the check in and domestic security areas, installing state of the art check in kiosks, auto bag drops and CT scanner. The technology was designed to create a more seamless journey through the airport for passengers, as well as increased safety.Avalon Airport Elenium Touchless Check in Kiosks

The airport also opened its taxiways and aprons to Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin, parking around forty aircraft and housing large
engineering teams.

Avalon also planned and developed a new nursery, which now boasts 2,600 young trees, that will eventually be dispersed around the airport’s entry and exit roads. In the future the airport hopes to use the nursery as an outdoor wellness area for staff and to wholesale plants.

The airport prides itself on its comprehensive program of training in areas as diverse as IT best practice to drug and alcohol awareness to aircraft refuelling.

Avalon Airport has made significant contributions to the community through sponsorships of local sporting clubs, and the CEO Justin Giddings is an Active Geelong ambassador and a Community Hero for Barwon Health in its initiative to encourage Covid-19 vaccinations.Avalon Airport staff

Justin Giddings said, “It’s been probably the toughest year you could ever go through being an airport, and to have an award recognising that you’ve done your best for your staff is just fantastic.”

The team at Avalon Airport would like to express their gratitude to the Geelong Chamber of Commerce and to WorkSafe.

Avalon Airport’s new onsite nursery

avalon airport onsite nursery

Article supplied by Avalon Airport is developing an onsite nursery, with 4,500sqm now teeming with young trees.

Much has been made of the new check in space and processes that Avalon Airport has been innovating and upgrading across the Covid-19 period. New technology such as touchless kiosks, new auto bag drops and a state of the art CT scanner have been installed, creating a larger, safer space and a simpler, more seamless passenger experience.

What’s less known is that the airport has also been using the time to plan and now implement a new nursery in order to address both aesthetic and environmental needs.

The extensive airport entry and exit roads require trees. As well as beautification, lining the roads with trees provides a wind buffer for passengers, protects against soil erosion, and creates a clear way-finding system.

Installing fully grown trees can be a risky and costly exercise, particularly if the trees don’t take once they’ve been planted.

Creating a nursery addresses both issues simultaneously.

Saplings are of course far cheaper than full grown trees, an important consideration when requiring over 2,000 of them.

They are also more likely to thrive if established within their final environment, becoming accustomed to the exposure instead of being shocked by it if imported fully grown.

And if one or more of the trees doesn’t survive as a young plant then replacement is more cost effective.

Avalon Airport CEO Justin Giddings says, “We’re pleased to be establishing such a large area for Avalon Airport Nursery. We have a history of planting trees onsite, having planted around 200,000 in and around the airport since 2000 as part of Avalon Landcare. It’s great to be doing so again in such a prominent spot with the purpose of using the trees. We can’t wait for them to develop and be replanted in their final positions around the airport.”

Avalon Airport Nursery covers some 4,500sqm and contains around 2,600 plants. The bare rooted pot stock is a mix of native and international trees that thrive in the climate, and includes wattles, kurrajong trees, tea trees and banksias as well as the brilliant maidenhair and the beloved blue jacaranda.

Once the trees are more established the airport plans to convert space in the vicinity into a staff garden and picnic area, and eventually hopes to wholesale.

Avalon Airport – latest COVID lockdown

Article supplied by Avalon Airport: As we head into the weekend of this latest lockdown, as usual we’re making the health of our passengers and staff our priority.

If you’re at the airport please ensure you check in, wear your face mask correctly at all times, use the sanitiser provided, and please have patience with processes that may take a little longer than usual.

Be well, stay safe and we can’t wait to see you all soon.

Click for information around Covid-19 measures at the airport plus useful links: https://www.avalonairport.com.au/covid-19-health-information