May 22, 2024

Small operators make up much of business aviation, as well as about 80% of NBAA’s total membership. And, given their small size – often operating with three aircraft or less and small staff where pilots and others wear multiple hats – they may face their share of challenges. 

Recognizing that small operations managers also may not have had the training needed to lead their businesses efficiently, NBAA’s Small Flight Department Subcommittee has developed a three-part webinar leadership series for its Small Operator Learning Series. 

Offering a menu of online courses and webinars, the Small Operator Learning Series is designed to help small flight department leaders overcome issues they face every day, while also providing newer managers with guidance effectively overseeing their departments. Review the NBAA Small Operator Learning Series.

“It’s focused on helping small operators operate more efficiently and safely,” said Noah Yarborough, NBAA manager of flight operations. “We cover a lot of issues in the series, such as what LOAs you might need when flying, how to update your operations manuals, how to get authorizations and information on hiring and retention in small operations.”

Each webinar in this year’s three-part leadership series features experienced pilots, flight department leaders and industry experts who share their knowledge and experience to help small flight department managers be more effective. Each webinar is free to all NBAA members. 

The first webinar in the leadership series features three highly experienced aviators: Dr. Tony Kern, Bob Agostino and Dylan Miller. The presentation examines the timeless principles of effective leadership, including vision, integrity and adaptability.

“Aviation chief pilots, operations managers and department heads are often promoted into leadership positions with little or no training,” said K.K. Harvey, director of operations of Lionheart Holdings and NBAA Small Flight Subcommittee co-chair who, along with fellow committee co-chair John Foster, developed the Learning Series.

“They are not given the opportunity for, nor may not have the time for, specific leadership training and education,” Harvey added. “They are promoted because of the duration of their tenure and not specifically for their leadership ability. They also might not have a mentor to role model either. So, they are often flying by the seat of their pants.” 

While leadership is a vast topic, Harvey said the goal is to provide, “sound advice and serve as a resource for leaders as well as aspirational leaders. Our speakers have a depth of knowledge and are titans in the aviation industry. We are so lucky that they want to share their time and expertise.”

The second webinar will focus on professional leadership and is scheduled to be available in August according to Yarborough. The series will culminate with an expert roundtable at the 2024 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), which runs Oct. 22-24 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, and Henderson Executive Airport (HND) at nearby Henderson, NV.