Don Baldwin has led the Texaco and Coca-Cola flight departments and served as chairman of NBAA’s board of directors. This week, he’s in Atlanta to introduce a flight ops mentoring program that he and his staff at Baldwin Aviation Safety and Compliance (Booth No. 2840) are in the final stages of developing.
Baldwin formed the business in 2004 to help flight departments meet regulatory requirements and establish safety-oriented operating standards. Based in Hilton Head, S.C., it offers interactive programs for existing and start-up flight operations. Baldwin and his staff stress that they are not “consultants,” but rather mentors.
“Our approach,” he said, “is to teach flight department personnel to fish, rather than simply providing a single fish dinner. The time to develop this type of mentoring program is obviously now.” Baldwin cited the predicted large increase in airplanes to be delivered in the next decade. This, in turn, he noted, will create a large inventory of resale aircraft likely to be used to establish new flight operations.
“They’ll need to be managed properly to ensure high standards of safety, efficiency and passenger confidence,” he said. “Because we recognize the challenges and opportunities that new flight departments, especially, will face, we are focusing on offering assistance and ongoing support tailored especially to them.”
He added that flight departments are usually headed by competent, experienced pilots. While they’re likely to be exceptionally capable in the cockpit, they often welcome input on the non-flying aspects of managing their flight operations.