May 11, 2015

Listen to this week’s NBAA Flight Plan podcast about the Alaska Safety Workshop.

NBAA Chief Operating Officer Steve Brown and NBAA Northwest Region Representative Kristi Ivey were among the business aviators in Alaska for the Association’s first-ever Alaska Business Aviation Safety Workshop at Landmark Aviation in Anchorage on May 1.

“We asked our Members in Alaska what NBAA could do in terms of effective outreach,” said Ivey, in describing NBAA’s continuing work to understand how best to support the industry in the state. “Again and again, we heard they wanted a safety event.”

The NBAA safety workshop took place a day before the 2015 Great Alaskan Aviation Gathering at Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC) in Anchorage, with speakers that included Brown, NBAA Vice President for Regulatory and International Affairs Doug Carr, NTSB Safety Investigator Chris Shaver and Shannon Forrest, former crew resource management program director at FlightSafety International.

“Because Alaska is such a different operating environment, we tailored the program to meet their specific needs,” said Brown.

“NBAA Members that operate in Alaska often land on snow or gravel runways,” he noted. “Many of those are short runways that require high-performance takeoffs and landings. And because of the wildlife hazards at many of the more remote locations – including bears, wolves and other carnivores – often the first thing out of the airplane is the rifle.”

In addition to safety discussions, the workshop included vital information on border crossings between the U.S. and Canada – crossings that are quite frequent for operators in Alaska. With an active ADS-B operating environment, letters of authorization are also important issues, as are the vast array of credentials each operator is required to maintain and carry.

“Most operators in Alaska have a necklace of badges because each airport requires its own credentials for access,” Brown said. “That’s something operators would like to see streamlined.”

“I give it [the safety workshop] an A-plus,” said Jeff Gilbert, aviation manager at Airport Equipment Rentals in Fairbanks. “I took a lot of notes. A lot of ideas were sparked at the workshop.”

Gilbert said that, along with the other 30 or so operators who attended the workshop, he is already looking forward to another event next year, and there is even talk of forming a regional business aviation group in Alaska.