The NBAA Safety Committee has identified professionalism as the cornerstone focus area of any Safety Management System in which professional behaviors rule and safe actions become a byproduct.

Professionalism is about identity as well as action. Improved professionalism can:

  • Have an immediate and positive impact on aviation safety
  • Elevate business aviation’s reputation in the eyes of the public, regulators and customers
  • Shift the industry’s focus beyond surviving to leading and thriving

The NBAA Safety Committee is dedicated to promoting professionalism and providing useful tools and resources to support professional behavior throughout business aviation. Jump to the links below for professionalism resources to help set you on the path to professionalism, and share your feedback using the forms provided or by emailing the Safety Committee at

What defines professionalism?

After months of collegial debate and running dialogue, the members of the NBAA Safety Committee Professionalism Working Group can attest that the challenge of defining “professionalism in business aviation” is tougher than it sounds.

Each person perceives professionalism’s markers differently and according to the situation at hand, making it far easier to spot a lack of professionalism than to define it. Early discussions triggered a number of imperatives: make the definition concise; don’t get too formal; avoid ambiguity; evoke a continuum rather than a static image; and keep it relevant.

Similarly, a list of attributes – such as sterling character, discipline, competence, ethics, consistency, service-mindedness, continuous improvement, exceeding standards, earning trust, not cutting corners, focusing on safety – accumulated like prized possessions that resist being discarded.

Ultimately, the committee rallied around this short and focused statement, which doesn’t try to be an ultimate definition but rather sets out core values while inviting broader discussion and interpretation for both individuals and organizations:

Professionalism in aviation is the pursuit of excellence through discipline, ethical behavior and continuous improvement.

Though professionalism may resist a singular universal definition, the Safety Committee contends that its collective qualities are precious and vital to a safe and thriving future for business aviation.

These opening words form initial waypoints for advancing business aviation professionalism. More are needed, and the NBAA Safety Committee invites business aviation professionals to actively join the quest. Please explore these pages and share your feedback with NBAA at