In October, Flight Safety Foundation relaunched the aviation Newsmaker Breakfast, a concept introduced by the Aviation Safety Alliance in 2002. These were popular monthly events that featured a notable aviation VIP, a number of aviation reporters and on-the-record questions and answers in an informal setting.
In 2006, the Foundation absorbed the Aviation Safety Alliance but wasn’t able to continue the Newsmaker Breakfast series — until now.
We welcomed U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta as the speaker for the relaunch, and he took this opportunity to discuss the FAA’s new compliance philosophy and how this policy complements safety management systems. The Foundation endorsed the compliance philosophy in a statement to the news media, and our statement can be viewed on the FSF website.
Administrator Huerta reviewed the recent history of how airlines, other aviation industry entities and the FAA have worked together to address safety challenges, and how this cooperation has led to a dramatic decline in the commercial air transport accident rates in the United States and around the world.
The next predictive step in improving aviation safety is refining how we identify risk factors before they lead to an accident. I’ve written about the importance of this before, and aviation safety professionals everywhere are working in this area. The FAA’s compliance philosophy reflects that regulators understand the importance of this as well.
To quote the administrator, “The compliance philosophy is the latest step in the evolution of how we work with those we regulate. It focuses on the most fundamental goal: Find problems in the National Airspace System before they result in an incident or accident, use the most appropriate tools to fix those problems, and monitor the situation to ensure that they stay fixed.”
Huerta also explained how this works in practice, and I recommend you read his entire remarks from that day to learn more. We’ve included an online link to them in our statement to the news media endorsing the compliance philosophy, and you can find them and the national policy order on the FAA’s website.
In recent months, I’ve talked about the Foundation’s many “firsts,” such as the first accident investigator course and the first aviation safety seminar. I’ve also talked about how the Foundation is continuing its tradition of serving as a neutral ground where competitors and allies can get together and talk about safety.
The Newsmaker Breakfasts, which we will hold on a quarterly basis in 2016, are another important aspect of the Foundation’s outreach. As a respected independent organization, we’re able to convene this forum for aviation VIPs, the “newsmakers” of our industry, to sit down with journalists covering aviation to discuss important, often complicated topics away from the pressure of breaking news and deadlines.