The Central Florida Business Aviation Association (CFBAA) hosted its inaugural Safety Standdown September 24th. Owing to COVID-19, the event transitioned to virtual rather than the planned in-person event anticipated in May 2020. The virtual event was hosted by the CEO of Offland Media, Chris Quiocho, and included four speakers across two sessions.
The President and CEO of NBAA, Ed Bolen, covered the industry's state and recent NBAA affairs and initiatives. Mr. Bolen highlighted industry needs during COVID-19
"Focus on working together to make sure that we, as individuals and companies, are creating and living a culture of safety," Bolen told CFBAA participants. Bolen further elaborated that COVID-19 has provided us the opportunity for organizational outreach and increased communications on lessons learned and best practices.
Bolen said sustainability, a key goal for business aviation, comes across many faucets, including sustainable aviation fuel, that will offer our industry the ability to reduce its environmental footprint significantly. It was noted that the aviation industry has positioned itself to thrive, not only in a COVID environment but to focus on what comes next.
Dr. Daniel Gilday of Aircare International reviewed COVID-19 symptoms, transmission, prevention, and anticipation of vaccines, predicting a COVID "resurgence" particularly in pockets in higher prone areas as the Fall and Winter season progresses. Dr. Gilday also provided a focus on specific COVID-19 operational considerations for business aviation operators.
CEO of KB Solutions Kodey Bogart, provided a foundation of Safety Management Systems (SMS) and how an organization can systematically mitigate safety risks before they result in aviation accidents and incidents. Bogart emphasized that a reporting system's success depends entirely on the continuous flow of information from and feedback to the organization and individuals. She emphasized an organization's voluntary reporting is key to a predictive, proactive safety program as it is an indicator that the company has a positive safety culture.
"SMS is a journey; it is not a check in the box and is not something that is started today and completed tomorrow," she reminded attendees.
IS-BAO Program Director Bennett Walsh, discussed the benefits of adhering to a higher safety standard, such as the IS-BAO program. Walsh reviewed IS-BAO updates, COVID-19 temporary procedures, and IBAC's new FlightPlan Stage 1 program designed to overcome challenges for small operators. The Stage 1 program streamlines audit procedures and standardizes training. He also reviewed the IS-BAO Progressive Stage 3, which is currently in a Beta-Testing phase.
The CFBAA Safety Standdown event was widely attended across multiple aviation industry organizations, both in the United States and Canada. The event offered attendees the NBAA's Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) program credits for continuing education.