Nov. 7, 2023

During the keynote address to open the 2023 Bombardier Safety Standdown, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said that the industry must remain vigilant as it makes safety its highest calling.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Integrity in Safety,” and Bolen focused on “integrity” to examine the industry’s responsibilities and challenges. He noted the word implies not just trustworthiness, but an incorruptibility.

“What could corrupt us in our effort be safe?” he asked at the conference’s opening session. “Maybe fatigue, maybe distraction, maybe confusion, maybe pressure, maybe addiction. There are a lot of chances to be corrupted in our pledge, in our trust, in our responsibility toward safety. But it is also our great opportunity to move our industry forward.

“All of us know, without safety, our industry is not going forward,” he added. “We operate on trust – trust from the public, trust from our companies, trust from ourselves and our families – that when we fly, we will land, and we will land safely.”

Bolen said the selection of Wichita, KS, as the host city for the conference is ideal “because I think metaphorically, there’s something really special about coming together in the middle of the United States, the core of the United States, to discuss our core values.”

He noted that the industry was just coming away from the 2023 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas, NV, where, throughout the show week, safety also was in focus.

“All through that week, we celebrated safety, because we know how easy it is to be corrupted in our pursuit of safety,” Bolen said. “Now we come together and focus on what it means to be safe and how we can do it.”

The lessons from Safety Standdown won’t be limited to this event, he added.

“We’re coming together to learn from each other, then go out in the world to change the way we act, the way others act, the way that we are regulated, the way we are legislated,” Bolen said.

Bolen noted that NBAA was created more than 75 years ago, with a mission to foster an environment that allows business aviation to thrive.

“For nearly eight decades, we have interpreted that to mean we need to be safe and perceived to be safe, and we need laws and regulations that facilitate that,” he said.
“We come together this week to help change the future of aviation – to make sure that we are able to reach our full potential because we’re both safe and perceived to be safe.”

NBAA has long been a leading supporter and sponsor of the Bombardier Safety Standdown, which runs through Nov. 9. Learn more about the 2023 Bombardier Safety Standdown.