Nov. 8, 2022

Under the theme of “Moving Safety Forward,” more than 450 business aviation professionals met in Wichita, KS, this week for the annual Bombardier Safety Standdown. NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen helped open the event Nov. 8 with an affirmation of business aviation’s longstanding commitment to be a safe industry that also is perceived to be safe.

“Safety is the bedrock of aviation and the foundation of who we are,” declared Bolen. “This is our great challenge. It’s been our great inheritance. Now, our opportunity is to take that forward and make the progress that was talked about from the first safety standdown to today.”

Noting that “aviation is inherently international,” Bolen highlighted the focus on aviation safety throughout the recent 41st Triennial Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and in particular its focus on the use of effective safety management systems (SMS).

“The whole world came together in Montreal in September to talk about how we move the industry forward and how we can tap into tools like SMS,” Bolen explained, adding that such discussions must focus “not just on SMS, but what an effective SMS looks like. How do we take SMS out of the back room and put it in the front office? How do we take it off the shelf and put it into everything that we do?”

As the FAA also moves to codify a regulatory structure governing SMS, Bolen reiterated the Safety Standdown’s official credo to “learn, apply and share” – a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of collaboration and communication to drive progress on safety programs throughout business aviation worldwide.

“We can take the lessons that have been learned to make ourselves better professionals,” Bolen continued. “We can make our companies stronger and our communities stronger, in the United States and around the world.”

Other keynote speakers opening the standdown included Chris Milligan, Bombardier vice president for preowned aircraft and flight operations; Derek Morgan, acting deputy executive director for the FAA Aircraft Certification Center; and NTSB Board Member Mike Graham.