The facilities management industry’s popular PFM magazine recently visited Aviation House, home of our client the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

You can read an excerpt of the case study below or go to the PFM website for the full article.


Mutual efforts see CAA partnership thrive

Implementing any new contract can prove to be a testing time for any FM partnership, but adding the major disruptive elements emerging from the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic can be seen to increase the number of potential issues exponentially.

This was the case when Salisbury Group began its contract with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) two years ago, which requires the company to manage the client’s Gatwick headquarters and four other facilities around England.

Salisbury Group account director Ian Catton states that while many FMs and service providers are now much more aware of the main aspects to consider, this was not the case when the Covid-19 virus emerged at the beginning of 2020.

“We’d just taken over the contract with CAA when Covid hit, which made things even more interesting, to say the least,” says Mr Catton. “The focus on health and safety increased massively, at the time when we were still getting to know each other.”

The health and safety focus additionally included considerable effort from the company to ensure that the Aviation House facility was as safe as possible for staff and visitors.

Proof of the success of these efforts can be seen in the fact that the client has credited these with playing a major role in assisting the safe reopening of other facilities around the country.

In line with Salisbury Group’s commitment to understanding customer satisfaction, regular face to face surveys are carried out by its client services director Olivia Abbott. This approach received a positive response from CAA, with the results used to update service delivery where necessary through gaining greater understanding of the specific needs of the customer.

These efforts have also been further appreciated by the client, which has credited them with allowing it to focus on delivering improvements in other areas.

With the partners approaching the end of the second year of the five-year contract at the time of PFM’s visit, with growing numbers of staff returning to the Gatwick office, the relationship between the two sides continues to celebrate success, enabled by the high levels of collaboration and communication.

This seems to have resulted from considerable effort from both sides to deal with the demands of the first lockdown in March 2020, continuing in the interim period to react to further developments.

“There’s now much more focus on cleaning, covering both Covid-related operations and ordinary cleaning tasks,” Mr Catton continues. “We make sure there’s a cleaning operative on site throughout all office hours, making sure that all touch points are cleaned regularly and provide reassurance that the building is safe to attend and seeing a cleaner is a big part of that.”

Cleaning is just one element of the CAA contract and the company additionally provides maintenance, security, front of house and grounds maintenance services for the client. Many of these had to be rapidly adapted at the outset of the partnership to assist in efforts to deal with the pandemic.

“Attendance numbers dropped from between 500 and 600 people attending before Covid to approximately 35 during the first lockdown,” says Mr Catton.

“We’ve made sure that all staff continued to be well supported while working from home, in addition to making sure that the building is safe and ready to use if they need to attend the office.

”In addition to closing 35% of the desks at the Gatwick CAA headquarters and ensuring that those in use are cleaned daily, Salisbury Group has also introduced the use of laminated signs to indicate whether desks are ‘clean’ and ready for use, or ‘dirty’ and awaiting cleaning.

“That’s just one example of Salisbury’s response to the pandemic and it’s been very rewarding to receive a lot of recognition from the CAA for these,” says Mr Catton.