Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) deputy administrator Hu Zhenjiang emphasized the agency's commitment to aviation safety during a keynote presentation at the China Business Aviation Safety Day 2021 in early April in Chengdu. The event, which was jointly held by AsBAA and the U.S.-China Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP), hosted more than 150 business aircraft pilots, OEMs, MROs, FBOs, EMS, airport, and government representatives in the year's first in-person event for the Asian business aviation industry.
In a historical first, NTSB, FAA, and CAAC officials delivered virtual keynote presentations followed by expert presentation sessions covering a range of safety topics relevant to business and general aviation in mainland China. All sessions were augmented with live English/Chinese dual language interpretation for all attendees.
Besides Hu, government keynotes featured NTSB Chairman RobertSumwalt; Robert Ruiz, director of the FAA's office of general aviation safety assurance; and Xiong Jie, the director general of the CAAC's aviation safety office.
Sumwalt, who spoke virtually from Washington D.C., presented business aviation accident case studies and discussed the importance of following standard operating procedures (SOPs) and "being a professional,” the latter of which he described as "doing the right things even when no one is watching.”
Meanwhile, Hu emphasized the CAAC's commitment to aviation safety as part of the administration's five-year plans, and especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He encouraged budding Chinese GA and business aviation operators to "proactively adopt" safety management systems (SMS) and promised for the "parallel development" of both commercial and general aviation in China. Further, Hu echoed Sumwalt's remarks on the importance of professionalism—not only among pilots, but among the "ecosystem of aircrew, operator, and airport management."
The event's presentations discussed the necessity of cultivating a safety culture, implementing effective SMS, strengthening investigations to ensure general aviation safety, safety innovations, data-driven SMS best practices, human factors, maintenance, ground handling, and others. In addition to the presentations were panel discussions on relevant topics moderated by Victoria Wilk, director of safety and regulatory affairs for Boeing in China; Rocky Zhang, Asia Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) vice chairman, chair of the AsBAA Mainland China committee, and vice president of government affairs for Textron China; and Chris Wu, president of Sino Jet Beijing.
US-China ACP executive director Geoffrey Jackson, along with Zhang and AsBAA board member and ExecuJet Haite Aviation Services China general manager Paul Desgrosseilliers, delivered opening and closing remarks for the event. Hosted by the Haite group in its physical conference and dining venues, attendees enjoyed a long-overdue opportunity to physically network over a luncheon, an afternoon tea break, and an evening cocktail to facilitate the exchange of awareness and ideas in aviation safety. The China Business Aviation Safety Day 2021 was sponsored by Haite, Gulfstream, Boeing, Bell Flight, and China Aviation Rescue & Emergency.
"AsBAA is pleased to have co-hosted and co-organized the historic China Business Aviation Safety Day 2021 with the US-China Aviation Cooperation Program," said AsBAA chairman Wu Zhendong. "For years, AsBAA has led the industry with in-depth, knowledge-based safety training for the Asian business aviation industry on a per-country basis."
"Since 2020, AsBAA's first dedicated safety committee has been taking the association's safety initiatives to the next level, where we are constantly working closer with the relevant government authorities and industry stakeholders in identifying country-specific safety issues, highlighting regional safety concerns, and drawing lessons from experience to make Asian business aviation safer."
Following the critical reception of AsBAA's Virtual Safety Summit 2020, which saw the first participation of an Asian business aviation safety event by the NTSB and Civil Aviation Authority Singapore (CAAS), it has also hosted the Malaysia Virtual Safety Forum 2021 and the China Business Aviation Safety Day 2021 with the participation of the NTSB, FAA, and the respective Asian country's civil aviation authorities. In its mission to improve aviation safety for business aviation in the region, AsBAA aims to host its next physical and/or virtual aviation safety events in the Philippines, Singapore, and elsewhere in Asia-Pacific later this year.
The Aviation Cooperation Program is a public-private partnership that works with aviation stakeholders in foreign countries outside of the U.S. to design programs that promote technical, policy, and commercial cooperation in civil aviation. ACP is industry-led and government-supported with cooperation from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, FAA, U.S. Department of Transportation, Transportation Security Administration, and Department of Commerce.