Doing the right thing – Defining safety standards in business aviation… and offering it free of charge
Sometimes the simple desire to do the right thing can result in major changes that affect a global industry. Case in point: Bombardier’s Safety Standdown, which began as a small internal meeting more than 20 years ago and has now become the premier safety seminar in business aviation.
Held annually, Bombardier’s Safety Standdown seminar brings together pilots, flight crews, maintenance technicians and other aviation specialists for a three-day event promoting knowledge-based safety training along with personal discipline and responsibility as essential elements of aviation safety and aviation professionalism. The program is free of charge – attendees only pay for their own travel and accommodations – and is open to crews operating any brand of aircraft. The 2018 event is being held from October 30 through November 1 in Wichita, Kansas.
“We are really proud of what we have accomplished over these last 22 years,” says Andy Nureddin, Vice-President, Customer Support at Bombardier Business Aircraft. “Safety Standdown has never been about generating business for our company; it’s about creating a conversation about safety and establishing standards that result in the prevention of accidents.”
The event was originally conceived in 1996 when the Bombardier Learjet Flight Demonstration Team remarked that ‘stand downs’ would always take place after an accident had occurred. Wouldn’t it make more sense, it was thought, if a stand down was held instead to prevent the event from ever happening?
And so, the Bombardier Safety Standdown began in 1996 as a human factors safety-training event for the internal team, aimed at improving aviation standards and sustaining positive changes in the industry. It quickly garnered a reputation for excellence beyond Bombardier’s customer base, and by 1999, Bombardier began offering the seminar to all aviation professionals, regardless of the aircraft they operate. By 2010, Safety Standdown expanded beyond the seminars into a year-round global human factors safety program offering online and social media resources.
To step away from, or pause, regular duties to focus on other activities, such as a review of safety procedures
As of today, nearly 10,000 corporate, commercial and military aviation professionals have attended Safety Standdown seminars around the world, including Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico, Switzerland and the United States.
And, importantly, Safety Standdown does not only present safety from the Bombardier perspective. Over the years, the seminars have had numerous speakers from renowned organizations like the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), human reliability company Convergent Performance, and many more. They have covered an array of topics like pilot professionalism, situational awareness, managing fatigue, runway safety, just to name a few.
This year’s sold-out event showcases 24 new workshops and 14 new presenters. Topics will include:
Leadership skills required for higher safety standards;
On-site workshops on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), a tool for profitability, success and sustained excellence leadership;
The importance of developing algorithms to measure safety performance; and
How to take the first steps toward improvement and professionalism
Don’t fret if you aren’t able to attend this year’s event. A live webcastwill cover the general session as well as selected workshops, including those on just culture, upset prevention and recovery aerodynamics, and bird/wildlife strikes. These workshops will feature knowledge-based aviation safety training, along with personal discipline and responsibility, as essential elements of aviation professionalism and safety.