The Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) organized its first safety day in Hong Kong last week at TAG Aviation Asia’s Flight Training Resources center. “We are very pleased with the outcome of the inaugural safety day. We had a capacity of 60 seats and it was fully subscribed,” said AsBAA vice chairman and TAG Aviation Asia maintenance director Phil Balmer.
He said there is an interest in the areas of safety management systems to promote just culture, as well as gray (illegal) charter, where operators are flying charter flights without proper certification and documentation.
The event saw a number of presentations from flight operations practitioners from major Hong Kong business aviation operators, including Sino Jet, Metrojet, and Gama Aviation, as well as Hong Kong air accident investigation bureau chief inspector Darren Straker.
In the panel discussion on illegal charter, Diana Chou, founder and chairman of Dragon General Aviation Group, pointed out that as charter operations are still very new in Asia, especially in China, operators and clients still do not understand Part 135 and Part 91 clearly.
“Operators are selling Part 91 flights to make a profit, as times are bad,” Chou said. “A lot of operators walk the gray line and the industry should get together and address the issue, or the consequences will be severe.”
She added that there should be a standard procedure by charter brokers to check if operators are flying on Part 91 or 135, as well as if they have the necessary certifications and training.
AsBAA’s next safety day will be held in the Philippines in November.