AeroSafety World is a key tool for us at Flight Safety Foundation to keep in contact with you, the professionals who keep the world’s aviation system safe for all its users. So we thought it would be good to add to the mix a few words from the volunteer leadership of the Foundation, both to offer our perspective on current issues and to encourage you to continue actively to support the Foundation.
I took over as chairman of the Board of Governors at a vibrant and interesting International Air Safety Seminar (IASS) in Santiago, Chile, in October. It was an honor to become the first person from outside North America to serve as chair-man. At IASS, I was heartened to see support for the Foundation from safety professionals from all over the globe. It was particularly encouraging to hear many Latin American voices engaging in the discussions and bringing their local experi-ence to the debate. Clearly, Latin America’s aviation safety leaders are resolved to continue to improve their system’s safety performance. That is just as well, because — unlike in Europe — aviation is growing fast in the Latin America and Caribbean region, a welcome fact, but one that poses its own challenges.
Participation at such events keeps you up to date with the latest thinking. It also supports the Foundation through revenue from participation fees, so I would strongly encourage you to attend FSF seminars. But I understand that it can be hard to fit such events into busy lives. So I ask you to consider supporting the Foundation in other ways — in particular, by becoming a member. Individual membership is not expensive, but every dollar, euro or pound goes to the great cause of advocating aviation safety across the globe. Another important way of supporting the Foundation is through checking that the organiza-tion you work for has itself shown its commitment to safety by becoming a corporate member.
There have been other important changes in recent weeks at the Foundation. Our longstanding president and CEO, Bill Voss, who is well known far beyond the Foundation faithful, decided that it was time to return to the U.S. Federal Avia-tion Administration in a senior safety role. We do, of course, wish Bill all the best for this next stage in his impressive ca-reer. But we will miss his enthusiasm, his tireless efforts to get safety onto the top of everyone’s to-do list and his com-mitment to doing things right. Bill literally went to the ends of the earth — regularly — to get the good word out. The world’s news reporters, who considered him the go-to guy for dealing with aviation safety issues, will also miss him. He had a knack for explaining complex issues in terms that could be understood by a wide audience.
But the good news is that we were able to promote Kevin Hiatt, previously our chief operating officer, to the president and CEO role. This will give the Foundation needed continuity at a challenging time for all not-for-profit organizations, and put at our disposal a true aviation professional, who has held major safety roles at some of the world’s biggest carriers. Kevin has all the support of the Board of Governors, and I know that, with his appointment, the Foundation continues to be in great hands.