The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has released its annual list of Top Safety Focus Areas, addressing the most pressing safety issues facing the broad array of business aviation operations. In order to determine those areas of greatest interest, the NBAA Safety Committee evaluated accident/incident statistics, operational safety data and robust hazard reporting information.
The 2019 Top Safety Focus Areas are:
• Reduce the risk of loss of control-inflight (LOC-I)
• Reduce the risk of runway excursions
• Reduce the risk of controlled flight into terrain (CFIT)
• Reduce the risk of aircraft ground operation and handling incidents
• Improve the safety performance of single-pilot operations
• Increase the use and sharing of human-reported and automated safety data
• Improve defenses against automation mismanagement
The Foundations for Safety remain the same and underscore competencies that enhance operational safety:
• Safety Leadership
• Risk Management
• Fitness for Duty
• Technical Excellence
“The 2019 NBAA Top Safety Focus Areas list represents those actionable and impactful items that all organizations need to address to improve business aviation safety,“ said Tom Huff, aviation safety officer for Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and chair of the NBAA Safety Committee. “It is important to the Safety Committee that business aviation operators keep loss of control – inflight, controlled flight into terrain and runway excursions in focus, since these risks remain in the majority of business aviation accidents.”
Also, Huff said, the continued focus on single-pilot operations can help the NBAA Safety Committee Single Pilot Working Group and industry effect positive change, making the biggest impact in improving business aviation safety.
“There are few hazards unique to single-pilot operations – the hazards are just magnified,” said Huff. “NBAA is reaching out to aircraft-type clubs and local and regional groups, to highlight the association resources that are available to single pilot operators, recognizing they often don’t have the support infrastructure of larger flight departments.”
Although several topics remain on the list from previous years, one topic – safety data – has been modified for 2019 to emphasize that collecting data is not enough, operators need to share their findings with a broader audience to have a greater impact on safety, noted Paul Ratté, director of aviation safety programs at USAIG and Safety Committee team leader.
“Illuminating ways to improve an already safe and stable system is a challenge, but that’s the worthy goal of putting this list forward,” said Ratté.
“Safety has always been a core value for the business aviation community, and the NBAA Safety Committee serves an important role in identifying an annual list of top concerns to focus on each year, so we can continually enhance the industry’s safety,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “These recommendations – which are based on well-researched data, and in collaboration with industry and government safety organizations, including the National Transportation Safety Board – will benefit NBAA members, and the entire aviation community.”
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