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Bolen: Business Aviation Safety is Cooperative, Ongoing Effort

Oct. 9, 2015

Addressing participants at the Oct. 6 opening session of the 2015 Bombardier Safety Standdown, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said that aviation safety isn’t the responsibility of just one manager or department. “For our safety efforts to be most effective, a safety focus must be engrained in the work of all vocations within business aviation,” he noted.

Just as aviation safety is a cooperative effort for everyone – from pilots and cabin crew to schedulers, dispatchers and maintenance technicians – its effectiveness is enhanced through cooperation beyond individual flight departments and associations.

“We must continue our effective collaborative efforts with government officials, like those at the FAA, NTSB and elsewhere,” said Bolen, reiterating NBAA’s pledge to work with existing business aviation flight operational quality assurance groups to analyze data for noncompliance with manufacturer-required routine flight control checks before takeoff, and provide the results of this analysis to our members. This was one of the NTSB recommendations to come out of its investigation of a 2014 Gulfstream IV accident at Bedford, MA.

Developing a culture of safety is an endless evolutionary process where everyone involved must understand their role. This is one reason why the NBAA Safety Committee annually updates it Top Safety Focus Areas through a data-driven process that incorporates input from the association’s members and its strategic partners. Review the NBAA Safety Committee's 2015 Top Safety Focus Areas.

“This year, the NBAA Safety Committee identified loss of control and runway excursions as two Top Safety Focus Areas where a significant attention is needed to reduce these risks,” said Bolen. The committee is developing resources on these topics, including two sessions at NBAA's Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2015). First, the entire NBAA Single-Pilot Safety Standdown will be devoted to loss of control. In addition, all of the Safety Committee’s Top Safety Focus Areas will be addressed in detail during the inaugural NBAA National Safety Forum.

In concluding his remarks at the Bombardier Safety Standdown, Bolen noted that aviation is a dynamic activity that constantly poses new challenges at every level and position.

“We must continue to develop safety products and best practices,” said Bolen, citing the FAA’s risk-based decision-making initiative and the continued refinement of safety management systems, as well as the Bombardier Safety Standdown, as examples. “In short, we know that one accident is too many – so we all must all work continually to enhance the safety of business aviation.”