Made redundant from her role as Edinburgh Airport operations resilience manager in 2020, Nyree Millar-Bell went on to set up her own airport safeguarding consultancy.
Describe a typical day in your job
I liaise with clients in the property, renewables and construction sector.
The first step is to carry out a free pre-application assessment. This determines whether their development is within 15km of an airport. This allows us to gather facts on the type of development and identify any high problem issues.
We form a hypothesis, which advises the developer of any airport restrictions. This will highlight if these will have a detrimental impact to their planning application.
“The challenge is balancing the airport safety regulations with the developer’s design expectations. This requires innovative thinking and problem-solving.”
If this results in an impact, we then carry out an airport impact assessment (AIA). This allows us to assess each airport restriction and identify possible mitigation solutions. Our goal is to provide the correct ‘build’ specifications to our developer. This is to ensure it meets all the safeguarding requirements of an airport.
The AIA provides evidence in a report form for our developers. They can submit this to the local council, alongside its planning submission. We support the developer throughout their entire planning process.
What key skills and knowledge are needed for your role?
A role within aerodrome safeguarding requires extensive aviation knowledge and experience. This includes working airside at an airport, learning the fundamentals of airside operations. Knowledge of specific aviation regulations are also required. These are: International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO); and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
I undertook airside operation and wildlife hazard management training at Edinburgh Airport. I also attended training in Gatwick called Aerodrome Safeguarding and Town & Country Planning.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job? And the most rewarding?
The challenge is balancing the airport safety regulations with the developer’s design expectations. This requires innovative thinking and problem-solving. The fulfilling part is securing the result of an airport planning consent. Especially first time, with no planning delays or extra costs for the developer.
I used to work as a safeguarding manager at Edinburgh Airport. This involved issuing many objections to full planning applications. We now take great pleasure in supporting developers through this process. We’re a key part of the successful delivery of the developer’s project – which as an airport safeguarding consultant is our end goal.