May 3, 2019

Collaboration is a key component in improving business aviation safety. That was a central message conveyed to the nearly 200 industry professionals who gathered in Denver May 2-3 for the 64th annual Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) Business Aviation Safety Summit (BASS), long hosted by FSF in partnership with NBAA.

“Business aviation is often on the forefront of safety performance, driving the aviation industry as a whole to new levels of safety,” said Mark Millam, FSF vice president, technical, during his welcome address to attendees.

BASS keynote speaker FAA Deputy Association Administrator, Office of Aviation Safety John Duncan, focused on the importance of working together to improve safety, highlighting the need for industry and regulator partnerships to appropriately manage risk; the importance of sharing safety data and the effectiveness of the FAA’s Compliance Program.

Duncan thanked the community as a whole for increasing adoption of Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) and explained why the Compliance Program most effectively allows individuals and organizations that intend to comply with regulations – even allowing for mistakes – in the cause of preventing recurrence of a violation, frequently avoiding formal enforcement action.

“The Compliance Program recognizes that some people are willing and able to comply and we can fix the problem together,” said Duncan.

Duncan noted the program’s effectiveness: more than 22,000 compliance actions have been completed since the program started, meaning more than 22,000 risks in the aviation system as a whole have been identified and mitigated, leading to improved safety.

Duncan also discussed FAA activities to mitigate risks of unmanned aircraft systems integration, wrong surface incidents and workforce challenges before closing with an “ask” of the audience:

“We have to actively manage risk, which takes a level of discipline that is required on a day-to-day basis to get it done,” said Duncan. “We have to share safety information with each other. We have to be able to operate openly and make necessarily corrections, and we have to professionally challenge each other.”

Leading experts in the areas of safety leadership, aeromedical and fatigue issues, flight operational quality assurance program and safety data sharing programs, runway safety and training issues followed Duncan with engaging and interactive sessions.

Attendees also had an opportunity meet with vendors in an exhibit hall, participate in product demonstrations and engage in networking events to share safety information with one another.

Also at the summit, FSF President and CEO Dr. Hassad Shahidi presented Michael Graham, director of flight safety, security and standardization at Textron Aviation, with the Business Aviation Meritorious Service Award for his efforts to advance safety in business aviation, including leadership on NBAA’s Safety Committee Single-Pilot Safety working Group and in the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing program. Graham was recently nominated to serve on the National Transportation Safety Board.

Learn more about BASS and the Flight Safety Foundation.