Nov. 2, 2021

Lessons learned over the past 20 months should carry forward to continuously improve the safety of business aircraft operations, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen told virtual and in-person attendees Tuesday at the 2021 Bombardier Safety Standdown in Wichita, KS.

“One thing that has been a constant throughout the pandemic is it has been a time of reflection,” Bolen said in his introductory keynote address at the 25th annual event. “We still need to do that self-examination [and] have the courage to say, ‘What more can we be doing?'”

That question also formed the foundation of the inaugural safety standdown when members of the Learjet demonstration team first discussed areas of improvement to enhance the safety of their flight operation. What began as an internal project soon grew into an annual safety-focused industry gathering and formed “the legacy we’ve inherited,” Bolen said.

“We as a community have been able for 25 years to be able to ‘learn, apply and share,’” he continued, citing the theme of this year’s event. “We have saved lives. We’ve built a culture. We’ve made our industry stronger. We’ve adapted to the changing environment.”

Taking place Nov. 2-3, the Bombardier Safety Standdown includes presentations and workshops addressing multiple safety challenges throughout the industry, from preventing runway excursions and loss of control inflight to building a productive flight operation in disruptive environments.

“We have an opportunity, each one of us at every level, to carry on what we’ve inherited and to make it better,” Bolen concluded. “We’re looking forward to what the future can hold. Let’s recognize the opportunity that we have. Let’s celebrate being together and let’s go forward and make our industry safe, now and in the future.”

Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Bombardier’s executive vice president for services and support strategy, also presented Bolen with a plaque marking NBAA’s longtime support of the company’s annual safety standdown.