Foundation President and CEO Kevin Hiatt and I usually do not write about similar topics in our monthly columns. We address different subjects partially by design — who wants to read the same thing twice? — and partially because we approach things differently. Kevin is a career pilot and safety expert, and I’m an aviation journalist. We have different backgrounds, training and skill sets, and that often translates into different interests and column topics.
But the unifying factor this month is the Foundation’s 66th annual International Air Safety Summit (IASS), which this year is scheduled for Oct. 29–31 in our backyard, Washington, D.C.
If you turn to p. 31 in this issue of AeroSafety World, you will find the IASS preliminary agenda as it stood in mid-September. Even a quick perusal of the agenda will show the breadth and depth of the issues to be addressed, from the integration of remotely piloted vehicles into controlled skies, to the analysis of data to uncover accident precursors, to effective monitoring in the cockpit.
Broad subjects to be discussed include key issues in aviation maintenance, air traffic management operational safety priorities and safety change management. In addition, we plan to take in-depth looks at the Air France Flight 447 investigation, at factors leading to runway excursions and at why go-around policies are ineffective. The list of notable speakers and panelists is long, and includes U.S. National Transportation Safety Board Members Earl Weener and Robert Sumwalt, JetBlue President and CEO Dave Barger and our own David McMillan, formerly director general of Eurocontrol and now chairman of the board here at the Foundation.
In addition to the speakers and presentations, there is much to be gained from regularly gathering with safety professionals from around the world to exchange ideas, dissect problems and develop solutions. Sometimes the conversations in the hallway or over lunch can be just as valuable as what is presented from the podium. IASS offers the best of both: thought-provoking panels and presentations, coupled with the opportunity to meet and, more importantly, talk with industry leaders — your peers — about the critical safety issues of today and tomorrow.
We hope you will join us.
And if you do and you see me wandering the hall, please take a moment to introduce yourself. I look forward to opportunities to meet our members, and I’d relish the chance to pick your brain on the safety issues of the day.