Special project for a client

Český Aeroholding, a.s.

Online tool and language handbook for the Security Clearance Department at Prague Airport

The Security Clearance Department at Václav Havel Airport in Prague, which is operated by Český Aeroholding, a.s., employs more than 600 workers. These workers are in charge of the overall security clearances when passengers enter the restricted area of the airport, the transportation of passengers and luggage for security inspections and the inspections themselves. Their work is demanding and they do not have time for regular language courses during working hours. All of these employees undergo comprehensive language training once a year, but they often lack the language skills for the specific situations which their work requires. For this reason, their Learning & Development Department decided to support them with an effective online dictionary aid to allow them to easily search for and listen to phrases and words on the internet together with a printed pocket-size handbook, which they can always have to hand and can use to find practical phrases or highly specific vocabulary at any time; for example, how to say bottle opener, caliper, plastercast, prosthesis or crutches in English or Russian. The knowledge of these words and phrases and the overall language skills of the security clearance team assists clients, i.e. passengers, to feel as good and comfortable as possible during security checks of their luggage and themselves when checking in at the airport. The goal is for passengers to be able to easily communicate with the security staff and for the security checks to go smoothly.

“In cooperation with Tereza Marčev Součková, the Learning & Development Manager at Český Aeroholding, we compiled a list of the most frequent phrases and words which the security clearance staff need and use the most,” said Jan Sklenář, Deputy Sales Director at James Cook Languages. “We have created a clear and practical handbook, which not only contains a translation of the phrase and vocabulary, but also a simple phonetic transcription for easy pronunciation, based on this list and the analysis of the client’s needs,” he added.

Even an apparently simple thing like a printed handbook contains many challenges. “Given that we prepared the handbook including the complete graphic layout and printing, it was necessary to precisely respect the client’s graphic brand manual, which meant adhering to all of the rules for fonts, graphic elements, colours and so on,” explained Petra Kilijánová, Marketing & PR Manager at James Cook Languages.

The transfer of the project into the form of an “online tool”, i.e. a web application which mainly serves to enable the employee to look up words or phrases on the internet not only in written form, but also with recorded pronunciation, also represented no small challenge for the language school. “They can therefore find whatever they need at any time and play the correct pronunciation on their mobile phone or computer,” commented Tereza Součková. This also assists the employees to better remember the vocabulary. Learning phrases and vocabulary is also part of the acceptance procedure for the given position.

The web application has been tailor-made for the client by the language school’s IT department, including settings for monitoring visitor numbers and the frequency of use which are regularly analysed and reported to the client. “We had three months for the comprehensive resolution of the entire project. We were responsible for creating the contents of the handbook, the entire graphic layout, including printing 600 copies, and the creation of the online tool. We managed to finish slightly ahead of the deadline,” commented Sklenář with regard to the demanding nature of the project.

The web application is currently available to all the employees of Český Aeroholding. Most of the security clearance personnel use the website as a supplement to their daily use of the printed handbook. A lot of employees were involved in the project both from the client’s approval team and the language school’s employees. “As well as our commercial representatives for communication with the client, the project also made use of the talents of our team of teachers and methodologists for the creation and inspection of the accuracy of the contents, then our marketing team for the creation of the handbooks and last, but not least, our IT department which secured the development of the web application,” elaborated Sklenář. In his words, this project was generally unique in the sense of the language school’s cooperation as the supplier of such a comprehensive and extensive solution for the client. “It was an enormous challenge, experience and test of our team work, which, I hope, we passed with flying colours,” he added.

The use of the handbooks should be of positive benefit for the daily work of the six-hundred-strong security clearance team and not only simplify their work during inspections, but mainly increase passenger comfort during security checks. “It is still too soon to claim that the language skill level of our security clearance personnel has increased, but we can say with some certainty that an overall positive approach and noticeably greater comfort at work is apparent in them. The employees have also praised the solution and they are satisfied with it,“ said Součková. At the same time, the brochures and the application are an important element and part of the current acceptance process for security clearance personnel at Český Aeroholding.

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