NBAA Signs Industry Letter Encouraging Adherence to Winter-Season Safety Best Practices for Aircraft Operations

Contact: Dan Hubbard at (202) 783-9360 or

Washington, DC, October 11, 2005 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today unveiled an industry letter the Association has signed onto that highlights cold-weather safety best practices for business aircraft operators.

“Safety is our industry’s highest priority, and NBAA has long provided products, services, and guidance in support of operational safety,” stated NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Because the coming cold weather will bring with it unique considerations for aircraft operation, it is appropriate that leaders in business aviation inform or remind aircraft operators about the industry-leading practices for ensuring that the winter flying season is as safe as possible.”

Included among the recommended procedures outlined in the letter for enhancing operational safety are the following:

  • Before flight, operators should ensure that aircraft lift-generating surfaces are completely free of contamination through a hands-on check of the critical surfaces. Operators should also avoid smooth or polished frost on lift-generating surfaces as an acceptable pre-flight condition.
  • Operators should review and refresh cold-weather operating procedures to ensure flight personnel are prepared to deal with the seasonal conditions akin to winter months.
  • Operators should provide all flight crews with up-to-date cold-weather operations procedures as part of a company’s flight operations manual, so that crews are familiar with Airplane Flight Manual limitations and procedures for dealing with icing conditions before and during flight.
  • If possible, operators should use hangars to protect grounded aircraft from sleet and freezing rain.
  • Operators should take full advantage of airport de-icing services, and disallow cost considerations from factoring into de-icing decisions.
  • Operators should empower crews to delay or cancel flights if weather conditions do not support safe operations.

“NBAA continues to work with the Federal Aviation Administration and other agencies to highlight our industry’s excellent safety record, and to demonstrate our commitment to emphasizing operational safety with the business aviation community. This letter puts that commitment into practice, and I know the guidelines and resources mentioned in it will be helpful for NBAA Members.”

Review the industry letter (136KB, PDF)

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Founded in 1947, NBAA serves more than 7,000 Member Companies by promoting the aviation interests of organizations utilizing business aircraft in the United States and worldwide. The association provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at