My natural inclination is to look forward to the next things we can do at Flight Safety Foundation to improve aviation safety and serve our members. However, I would be remiss if I did not look back at some of the high points of 2013 — for us, a very challenging year.
When it began, our three goals were to cut unnecessary expenses, work within our budget and keep the Foundation in the forefront, promoting globally the best in aviation safety. Looking back, I can say we have met those goals and then some. How did we do that? It basically required keeping an eye on not only the top three aviation safety issues — runway excursions, loss of control–in flight and controlled flight into terrain — but also the three new accidents that appear to have involved unstabilized approaches.
We did it by closely tracking the tasks being performed by a reduced staff, constantly monitoring our expenses and evaluating how to get the widest exposure from personal appearances. We were not able to make as many appearances as in the past, but we did take part in a number of major events, and we added a few more. Two of those were the Airline Engineering and Maintenance Safety Conference in London in July, in collaboration with FlightGlobal, and the InfoShare conference, in collaboration with the Singapore Aviation Academy, in August. Those events complemented our premier International Air Safety Summit (IASS) in Washington in October and our Business Aviation Safety Seminar in Montreal in April, as well as the regional runway safety seminar in Malaysia in November. These all formed parts of our outreach strategy.
Outreach is an area that has kept me busy, with more than 35 appearances during the year all around the world to promote aviation safety and Flight Safety Foundation.
For the first time, in 2013, we hosted the FSF Benefit Dinner in July. The dinner provided a financial shot in the arm for our operating budget. Our plan is to hold future benefit dinners in Washington every other year, and in alternate years, to hold a dinner in conjunction with the IASS.
Communication media also have been a large part of keeping the face of FSF out there in the industry. AeroSafety World has produced quality articles on pertinent aviation safety issues. Our website has undergone some organizational changes and is still providing some of the best safety information available. We actively use Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media to inform you of the Foundation’s activities and to conduct discussions on selected topics.
Our Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) program continues to sign up new members, and it has now completed over 200 audits. Our global technical programs of safety management system evaluations, the go-around study and the collaboration on pilot monitoring skills are in progress. Membership is steady, but we would like to see more individuals, organizations and companies come on board. Your support in this area helps us to keep moving forward.
Looking toward 2014, the Foundation is flying straight and level, and we have some fuel in the tanks, but we are continuing to look for more fuel and new efficiencies so we can do more for our members and for aviation safety.