Sydney, Australia-based Aerosafe, which specializes in aviation risk-management, is introducing three new accredited training courses at Heli-Expo’13. The courses focus on safety-management systems, risk management and regulatory oversight and, according to the company, provide training that is not currently available anywhere else.
Aerosafe–whose clients have included Bell Helicopter, Eurocopter, several helicopter rescue companies and the U.S. Air Force’s helicopter division–launched in 1996 in the wake of a crash of two Black Hawk helicopters during an Australian Army counterterrorism exercise. The accident killed 16 people. “I got involved in the aftermath,” recalled Aerosafe founder and CEO Kimberley Turner, “building proactive risk-management systems and practices to help prevent something like that from happening again.”
Turner was just 18 at the time, but she was already in Australia’s Army Reserve and had gained the confidence of her commanding officer, who asked her to investigate how to develop risk profiles. It was a tall order: not only was she young and inexperienced, but as she quickly discovered, the Army’s Aviation Corps itself had little knowledge of risk management and no policies in place to mitigate risk.
“What I realized early on is if that I could master the application and facilitation of the risk-management process, I could then tap into the expertise of pilots and engineers and commanders and air traffic controllers,” Turner said. “I thought, ‘Who are the change drivers, the influential people in the organization?’ Then we worked with those people to train them in risk management. They were the ones that took it forward, and I just supported them in that endeavor.”
Apparently, she supported them well because the next year, Qantas invited her to meet with its flight safety team to discuss the work she had done for Australia’s Army. A few weeks later, Turner registered the name Aerosafe and launched her business. Today, a little more than 15 years later, the company has offices in Sydney and Canberra, Australia; Washington, D.C.; Shanghai; Wellington, New Zealand; and Mumbai, India. It employs more than 50 people and has served about 350 clients in 16 countries.
Moreover, while aviation risk-management remains its bread-and-butter specialty, Aerosafe (Booth No. N3704) now draws 40 percent of its work from other fields, including mining, health care, the TV and film industries and law enforcement. And even in the aviation world, Turner emphasized, the company has a wider focus than it began with. “People traditionally think risk management means safety,” she explained, “but it’s a lot broader than that. It can go into the risk of not delivering a capability. It could be reputation risk, financial risk, environmental or security risk.”