Safety Standdown Strives To Normalize Excellence

 - October 30, 2018, 10:46 AM

Bombardier Safety Standdown opened today with chief safety leaders from the FAA, NTSB, and the business aviation community highlighting this year’s theme of "Normalization of Excellence" to upwards of 700 attendees.

Entering its third decade, attendance has grown to the point where Bombardier did not have enough space for the 100 more who hoped to attend. Over the years, the event has attracted more than 10,000 people (combined) and scores more listening in to the event that is now webcast online.

Andy Nureddin, vice president of customer support and training for Bombardier, pointed to the shared passion for safety that has stemmed from Bombardier Safety Standdown and reiterated that “our community can’t afford to take safety for granted.” 

Also opening safety standdown was John DeLisi, director of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Office of the Aviation Safety, who highlighted the safety record of the U.S. Part 121 operators—which went nine years without a fatal accident until just this past spring—and said now is the time to focus on Part 91 and 135.

A perennial favorite at Safety Standdown, Convergent Performance’s Tony Kern outlined the importance of being a “grinder.” He pointed out top golfers who were grinders—they do not dwell in their mistakes but push through and look to the opportunity to take new shots. Kern encouraged the audience not to fall into the handcuffs of mediocrity that can come with experience over time. Instead, he challenged them to be a grinder, strive for a high level of professionalism that he said is “normalized excellence.”

Noting the importance of maintaining not only safety but the perception of safety for the industry, NBAA v-p of regulatory and international affairs Doug Carr pointed to his association’s recent reaffirmation of its commitment to safety with the signing of its safety policy letter earlier this month. Carr lauded the many participants willing to collect and share data to help build on the safety record, and encouraged audience members who have not yet begun such practices to reach out to those who do to learn how to overcome obstacles to data sharing.

Michael Zenkovich, deputy executive director for the FAA’s Flight Standards Service, emphasized that “we’re all on the same team,” adding that while rules and regulations are important, they must come in concert with a strong safety culture.