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Leading With Safety: The Business Aviation Safety Roundtable

Last month, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF), and over 50 representatives from across every corner of business aviation gathered for roundtable-style discussions in Washington, D.C. Their goal was to discuss a broad range of pressing safety issues and workshop solutions, all in a space where each participant in the diverse group had an equal voice. From this industry-wide gathering, the inaugural Business Aviation Safety Roundtable was born. The roundtable series will be a traveling year-long endeavor to address areas of opportunity in business aviation safety.

Magellan Jets and its COO Todd Weeber, who serves as Vice Chair of the ACSF, were proud to sponsor and take part in this groundbreaking event. Read on to find out more about the work of the Business Aviation Safety Roundtable and what it means for the industry going forward.

What Is The Business Aviation Safety Roundtable?

A ‘First Of Its Kind’ Event

Leading up to the Business Aviation Safety Roundtable, the NATA and ACSF invited any and all safety practitioners that interact with business aviation in the United States to take part in the free and open event. A never-before-seen level of cooperation and collaboration was undertaken to meet the safety challenges facing the business aviation community, and the list of attendees reflects that spirit. They came from all regions of the country and included companies and organizations both large and small, both established veterans and those new to the industry.

Air, ground, maintenance, technology, and safety support spheres were all represented, comprising what ACSF Chairman Bob Rufli called “the whole ecosystem of general aviation.” What made the event unique was that each of these participants were empowered to participate and provide input on a broad range of safety topics.

“It’s the first time, to our knowledge, that something like this has been done in the true spirit of a roundtable event,” Weeber said, adding that participants came from “a huge variety of sizes of organizations—from new entrant to technology-based companies, to maintenance companies, to FBOs, to operators.”

What Was Accomplished

Prior to the event, participants were polled on critical safety issues, and their responses helped identify four categories of issues on which the Business Aviation Safety Roundtable would focus: human factors, ground operations, risk factors, and FAA interoperability.

At the event, participants broke into four working groups focused on those four topics. There, they shared best practices and opportunities to overcome common issues. Every participant had the opportunity to spend time sharing their voice and experience in each of the working groups. A total of 15 key issues and opportunities were identified across the aforementioned four categories.

The group resolved to collaboratively develop a range of new industry standards around those 15 issues, as well as key performance indicators (KPIs) to help measure and support those standards. The participants also agreed on a framework to share these new standards and best practices throughout the wider business aviation community.  

What’s Next?

The Business Aviation Safety Roundtable was just the beginning of an exciting and important process. Next, the ACSF, NATA, select universities, and other business aviation organizations and companies will take the roundtable’s work to a larger audience via regional roundtable events at different locations across the country. A series of eight regional roundtable events will be held this summer, with twelve additional roundtables also under consideration. Dates for these and other follow-up roundtables will be announced at the annual ACSF Symposium next week.

The Business Aviation Safety Roundtable will return next year as an annual event. Ultimately, the work of the roundtable participants will contribute to the very first annual ACSF Annual Report of Business Aviation Safety, which will be presented at the second annual ACSF-NATA National Business Aviation Safety Round Table in 2023.

Leading With Safety

At Magellan Jets, we don’t just adhere to strict safety guidelines in everything we do—we have a direct hand in driving the conversation and raising safety standards for the entire business aviation community. Leading With Safety is the first of our three core values, and our rigorous safety culture is reflected in everything we do. To learn more about our comprehensive service and safety management and quality assurance system, our thoroughly-vetted network of top-tier operators, and more, click below.

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