Dec. 2, 2016

Most business aviation operators engage in annual risk assessment and profiling, according to the results of NBAA’s 2016 Business Aviation Safety Survey, now available exclusively to the association’s members.

The survey provides an unparalleled look into the safety policies and concerns of business aviation flight departments. More than 800 industry professionals of all roles and specialties provided their company’s safety data for the survey, more than doubling the response rate from last year’s inaugural survey.

Other key findings include:

  • The survey shows that 60 percent of dual-pilot operators reported they go to recurrent training twice annually. Most single-pilot respondents (62 percent) indicated they train once annually, with 28 percent indicating they train twice per year.
  • A significant majority of operations have some form of safety reporting process, with 73 percent of respondents saying they have comprehensive awareness of safety reports and issues across their organization.
  • Distraction, fatigue, professionalism and time pressure continue to be the top potential triggers for mishaps, respondents said.

Read the results of the 2016 Business Aviation Safety Survey.

“I was really impressed by the engagement in the survey,” said Paul Ratté, director of aviation safety programs for USAIG and team lead of the NBAA Safety Committee’s Risk Assessment Team. “There’s a passion in the community for safety.”

Ratté said the team’s objective with the survey was to supplement long-term historical performance data with two tiers of safety information &emdash; short-term (from the previous six to 18 months) performance data that reflects new trends and challenges, and anecdotal perspectives from business aircraft operators about their top concerns and priorities.

To accomplish this, Ratté’s team prepared 30 questions on topics such as dual- and single-pilot best practices, formal training expectations and safety reporting policies. Most survey questions were intentionally close-ended for data collection purposes, but Ratté noted that 1,200 unique responses to an open-ended query about respondents’ top three perceived safety risks will help the Safety Committee direct its focus to the most pressing concerns of business aircraft operators.

“Anything the Safety Committee does can only really be enacted through the practitioners of business aviation,” said Ratté. “We felt like it was necessary to understand what was on their minds, what are they thinking.”

Peter Korns, NBAA’s manager of operations, said that the Safety Committee was pleased with the community’s strong response, adding that the results show that safety continues to be a priority among business aircraft operators.

“It’s clear from analyzing the survey results that there’s a strong commitment to safety and improvement among business aircraft operators. We appreciate the community’s willingness to share their safety data year-over-year in an effort to better ensure our industry remains a world leader in aviation safety,” said Korns.