NBAA Safety Committee Announces Top Safety Focus Areas for 2015

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

Washington, DC, March 19, 2015 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Safety Committee today released its third annual list of Top Safety Focus Areas, highlighting two primary safety issues – loss of control in flight (LOCI) and runway excursions – which the committee’s research shows should be primary risk-mitigation targets for all operators.

In addition to the two top safety issues, the committee identified the following safety hazards, in no particular order of priority:

The list is intended to promote safety-focused discussion and advocacy throughout the business aviation industry, as well as to help the Safety Committee prioritize how NBAA’s resources should be used to help improve safety industry-wide. In developing the 2015 list, the committee expanded upon past efforts by incorporating a rigorous, data-driven approach to help determine the biggest risks. The top safety priorities were identified based on an objective analysis that combined data trends, survey results and qualitative input from other NBAA committees, industry and regulatory partners, and members.

“The results of our data-driven approach to identifying the biggest opportunities for improving business aviation safety are definitive,” said committee Chairman Steve Charbonneau. “Loss of control in flight and runway excursions are the deadliest and most frequent business aviation accidents, and also of highest concern to NBAA Members. The Association is committed to working with industry partners and will dedicate significant resources to develop tools and programs designed to help operators mitigate these risks.”

In the last decade, no type of accident has caused more commercial and business aviation fatalities than LOCI. The National Transportation Safety Board targeted the issue on its own 2015 “Most Wanted” list of safety improvements, citing it as a possible factor in more than 40 percent of fixed-wing general aviation accidents from 2001 to 2011. Adding to business aviation’s challenge in addressing LOCI is the sector’s wide range of aircraft types and operating parameters, which works against any single solution for reducing LOCI occurrences.

Runway excursions are the most common type of business aviation accident. Despite efforts to reduce the runway excursion rate, the frequency of these types of accidents has changed little over the last decade, hovering around 3.6 per million flights, or some 60 percent higher than the corresponding commercial aviation rate. While runway excursions are often survivable, they are also preventable, based on well-identified risk factors, aircraft performance considerations and recommended defenses, making these types of mishaps a logical target of a focused risk-reduction effort.

The seven safety hazards were identified as significant risks that affect many business aviation operations. Along with the two top safety issues, the hazards will help guide the Safety Committee’s work in support of safety advocacy this year. 

“Our analysis elevated the hazard list items as issues that all operators should be vigilant about in their day-to-day operations,” Charbonneau explained. “The Safety Committee is committed to providing information, resources and tools to help NBAA Members and the rest of the industry mitigate these hazards, and we will be introducing these products throughout the year.”

In developing its 2015 safety advocacy strategy, the Safety Committee identified five basic elements that operators need to support safety efforts going forward. The so-called “Foundations for Safety” include safety leadership, risk management, fitness for duty and technical excellence, all of which come under the umbrella of professionalism in business aviation. The committee said that each of these areas is critically important to address the complex business aviation environment and should form part of an overall systematic approach to safety risk management.

“The Foundations for Safety should be seen as exactly that: the base that supports all meaningful, beneficial safety efforts,” Charbonneau said. “While NBAA is committed to providing tools and resources to help operators strengthen these foundations and mitigate risk in the areas we’ve identified, we urge everyone to take steps today and examine how they can improve safety in their operations. The most effective safety efforts are proactive. Identifying and acknowledging the risks in your operations is the first step in preventing the next accident.”

Review the full list of the 2015 NBAA 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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