Business Aviation Safety Seminar

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Business Aviation Safety Seminar Focused on Collaborative Solutions

April 10, 2013

With the industry's safety record under renewed scrutiny in the wake of two high-profile accidents already this year, the annual Business Aviation Safety Seminar (BASS), beginning April 10 in Montreal, Canada, is focused on finding collaborative solutions to safety issues affecting business aviation users, pilots and flight departments.

The annual two-day event, which is hosted by the Flight Safety Foundation and co-sponsored by NBAA and the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA), underscores NBAA's long-standing and continuing commitment to improving business aviation safety.

This year's BASS includes seminar presentations focusing on a broad range of topics, including international flight operations, operator training and professionalism, criminalization of accidents, and complacency.

Kevin Hiatt, president and CEO of Flight Safety Foundation, noted that regardless of a flight department's size, all business aircraft operators must quickly adapt to ever-changing operational environments, which may lead to additional challenges to maintaining safety.

"Business aviation is more of a 'whole wheat' or multigrain environment, versus the comparatively white bread world of the commercial airlines," he added. "This sort of variety requires business aviation operators to focus on different operating, scheduling, and even maintenance factors to suit their particular needs."

Seminar topics will include discussions of new safety-training information and techniques, such as the industry's shift towards evidence-based training, and what information may be gleaned from the release of flight operational quality assurance data.

"We'll also discuss specific operational scenarios, including the question of why business aircraft have more runway excursion accidents than other segments," Hiatt said. "Other 'deep dive' presentations will address differences between the FAA's terminal instrument procedures training versus ICAO's PANS-OPS [procedures for air navigation services – aircraft operations] guidelines."

BASS also is offering the opportunity for operators to collaborate with peers about best safety practices, with smaller operations benefitting from the lessons and practices of larger operations.

"Obviously, smaller operations may not have experience with – or even access to – the safety programs their larger counterparts have benefitted from," Hiatt noted. "This is their chance to see what others are doing."

The seminar comes as the number of accidents involving business aircraft in the United States appears to be trending upward. According to a recent study of business aircraft accidents conducted by Robert E. Breiling & Associates in Boca Raton, FL, the total number of business jet accidents increased from 14 in 2011 to 19 in 2012, including five fatal accidents. Earlier this year, two accidents involving the same aircraft type claimed seven passengers and crew in the U.S.

NBAA has co-sponsored BASS – formerly known as the Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar – since 1998, with this year's event the first to be held outside the United States. As of April 8, approximately 270 attendees had pre-registered for the event, though last-minute registrations were still coming in.