NBAA Safety Committee Announces 2016 Top Safety Focus Areas

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360,

Washington, DC, March 10, 2016 –  The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Safety Committee today released its fourth annual list of Top Safety Focus Areas, adding two issues – single-pilot accident rate and ground handling incidents –  to last year’s list, which the committee’s research shows should be primary risk-mitigation targets for all business aircraft operators.

The Safety Committee’s Top Safety Focus Areas for 2016 are:

In addition to these issues, the committee identified the following notable safety hazards:

The committee’s research shows that 60 percent of accidents involving turboprops certified for single-pilot operations were being flown by a single pilot at the time of the accident. In addition, single-pilot-operated turboprops have a 1.5 times greater chance of being involved in an accident than dual-piloted aircraft.

The risks of ground-handling incidents were also highlighted in the results of the committee’s survey, which was conducted to support its risk-assessment process and development of the 2016 focus areas. A total of 48 percent of respondents reported having one to three ground-handling incidents or close calls in the last three years, while 8 percent reported having four to nine incidents or close calls.

These two risks join LOC-I and runway excursions, which were identified last year and continue to pose significant treats to general aviation operations, as the committee’s primary focus areas this year.

“The NBAA Safety Committee’s data-driven approach to identifying the most significant risks yields clear results,” said NBAA Safety Committee Chairman Steve Charbonneau. “Loss of control in flight and runway excursions remain significant risks, and our research shows that single-pilot operations and ground-handling incidents are equally worthy of significant safety-improvement efforts. NBAA, in collaboration with industry partners, will dedicate substantial resources to develop tools and programs designed to help operators mitigate these risks.”

NBAA’s Safety Committee develops its annual list of safety focus areas by combining survey results, risked-based safety data and qualitative input from industry and regulatory partners, other NBAA committees and members. The goal is to promote safety-focused discussion and advocacy throughout business aviation, as well as to help the committee prioritize how NBAA should allocate its safety-improvement resources.

This year’s survey generated more than 800 responses. The respondents cited distraction, fatigue and lapse in professionalism, judgment or procedural compliance as the top three contributors to incidents. This led the committee to specify “intentional” noncompliance in its hazard list, to differentiate this risk from human error.

“We wanted to highlight that this a more serious issue than simply procedural noncompliance,” Charbonneau said. “We’re talking about violations of procedure, and we wanted to emphasize this by changing the characterization of this hazard.”

Learn more about NBAA’s 2016 Top Safety Focus Areas.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 10,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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