You may have heard by now that I will be leaving Flight Safety Foundation in mid-February to become the senior vice president of safety and flight operations at the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This seat change comes with bittersweet emotions.
For the past three and a half years it has been my privilege to further the mission of the Foundation while working with an excellent staff and a highly professional Board of Governors. As president and CEO, I have worked to ensure that the Foundation remains a prominent organization today, as well as in the future.
While in the left seat at the Foundation, I have learned so much from our members and supporters from all walks of aviation and aviation safety. It always amazes me how much passion people have for safety and how we all work together for the common goal of keeping the aviation industry as safe as it can be. It has been an honor to help promote that goal, and, hopefully, to contribute to the continued advancement of aviation safety around the world.
Safety has obviously come a long way since the 1940s, when commercial aviation really began to take off. Many of you have heard me say that complacency is one of our biggest concerns as we move into the next generation of aviation operations. In order to overcome that tendency to be complacent, we must be not only proactive, but also predictive.
Being predictive means using the mountains of data we are all collecting to really analyze what is happening in flight, air traffic and ground operations. That is the key to the future. The Foundation is poised to play a large part in that data collection and analysis effort in many parts of the world, working in collaboration with partners such as IATA, the International Civil Aviation Organization, MITRE and the National Business Aviation Association.
So, speaking of IATA, this seat change will allow me to continue to help drive the data initiatives from a different constituency within the worldwide airline industry, and potentially blend those initiatives with the initiatives coming from the Foundation. So much of what we have been doing at the Foundation for the past 10 years has been leading up to this point, and I am very excited to see it progress.
While the Foundation has provided me a fantastic perspective on a broad range of aviation safety entities and issues, I am excited to return to my wheelhouse of airline operations and safety. Plus, I will still be able to associate with all of you, but in a different capacity. I want to thank all of you for supporting me and the Foundation. Your expertise, dedication, hospitality and kindness have been overwhelming. I look forward to seeing the Foundation continue to gain altitude and to help where I can!
As I move over to my new seat at IATA, the Foundation’s board has launched a search for a new president and CEO. In the interim, board members Ken Hylander and Bill Bozin will serve as acting president and CEO, and acting chief operating officer, respectively. I thank them both for their continued dedication to the Foundation and its missions.