It has been about 18 months since I came aboard the Foundation as executive vice president, and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t learn something new about what we have done or are about to do. Therefore, I approached Jay Donoghue, AeroSafety World (ASW) editor-in-chief, and asked him if it would be beneficial to publish in our magazine some of the Foundation’s operations news. We agreed that our members and readers should know more about what the Foundation is doing and how it might relate to them.
To begin with, you need to know that we have a small but multi-talented staff. I would venture to say that you may not be aware that we have two locations of operation. Headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., with 18 full-timers and one contract staffer, and the other office is in Melbourne, Australia, with eight employees. The Alexandria office oversees the world operation and the production of ASW. The Melbourne office is responsible for the Basic Aviation Risk Standard program, referred to as BARS. That office reports to the chief operating officer — my new title — in Alexandria. Both sets of office staff wear many hats in order to make the Foundation operate as efficiently as possible.
The Foundation has many programs — some are ongoing and others are not. One ongoing program involves the annual safety seminars. There are officially, and presently, three. The biggest seminar is our International Air Safety Seminar, which will be held this year in Santiago, Chile, a location picked to help solidify Foundation safety efforts in the Latin American region. The next largest is our Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar, to be held this year in San Antonio. We also conduct the European Aviation Safety Seminar, being held this year in Dublin, Ireland. These three seminars provide our membership and other paid attendees a chance to hear top aviation professionals present cutting-edge safety information.
Please take a look in this issue or on our website for the dates, locations and agendas. Besides your welcome dues contributions, the seminars contribute a large part of the revenue that maintains the Foundation. As we move forward, we continually will evaluate the effectiveness of the seminars through your feedback, and move to perhaps add others that we deem to be relevant and timely.
Our BARS program is now beginning its official third year in operation. I mentioned earlier that it is administered from our Australian office in Melbourne. The reason for that is the location of most of the clients it serves. BARS primarily provides an audit risk standard for the aviation operators that serve the mineral and mining industry. It is similar in structure to the International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit and now has 19 BARS member organizations. For more information, there will be regular news updates in this magazine and on the website.
These are just two of the several Foundation programs that provide a valuable safety service to the aviation industry as a whole. In the future editions of ASW, I will cover the other programs and how the Foundation operates — all appropriate topics for a COO to keep you informed about, don’t you think?