Bolen: Aviation safety is industry's highest priority, a core value
Aviation is a safe mode of transportation - one of the safest many say - but it’s not only important to be safe - we must be perceived to be safe, said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen during a panel discussion at the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Aerospace Summit.
“We see safety as the pursuit of perfection. It’s constantly a moving target,” said Bolen. “We’re an industry that is willing to do the things that are necessary to evolve and adapt and keep getting safer.”
Bolen was a panelist on a session titled, “Emerging Technologies and the Future of Aviation Safety.” Other participants included: Faye Malarkey Black, president and CEO, Regional Airline Association; George Novak, president and CEO, National Air Carrier Association and Robert Rose, CEO, Reliable Robotics. The panel was moderated by Steve Alterman, former president, Cargo Airline Association.
Safety Management Systems (SMS) was among the issues discussed. Bolen said SMS is a “great safety tool,” and has a role to play in business aviation. However, he said, it can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach.
“Getting the scale right is fundamental here,” he noted. “We’re an industry that is willing to do the things that are necessary to evolve and adapt and keep getting safer.”
In comments submitted to the FAA in April on its proposal to expand SMS regulations into business aviation, NBAA noted the agency missed the mark.
In speaking about new technologies coming to market that can make flying even safer, Bolen noted the challenge is to always keep moving forward and not getting bogged down in the past. “Look at what we can have tomorrow,” he said. “Coordination and collaboration need to take place. We thrive because we share data and solve problems together.
Finally, each panelist was asked to give advice to the next FAA administrator as just a few days ago the Biden administrator nominated longtime industry professional Mike Whitaker to the post.
“Mike Whitaker is a proven leader,” noted Bolen. “I would simply say lead. We believe you have the temperament, experience, and qualities to lead. Just lead.”
The US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Aerospace Summit is a premier event in the space and aviation industries, bringing together government leaders and industry experts from across the world.
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 14th September 2023 | Issue #715