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Flight Safety Symposium
26 - 27 September 2017
Park Inn Heathrow, London, UK



Industry and Event News

INTERVIEW: Simon Bennett, Civil Safety & Security Unit at University of Leicester

17 August, 2017 - BY: Simon Bennett 

Dr Simon Bennett the Director, Civil Safety and Security Unit (CSSU) at the University of Leicester has shared his thoughts on the key issues when it comes to aviation safety in the UK with the shortage of runway capacity in SE England being key. The reason being is that it causes pollution (stacking) and reduces safety margins. The solution being four runways at LHR and two at LGW with a pressing need to reform dysfunctional/obstructive environmental legislation. The challenges according to Simon are the environmentalists misinformation and disinformation about the industry which the industry needs to counter by representing and promoting itself better. He goes on to say that is exacerbated by the politicians' continued framing of commercial aviation as a problem rather than an asset. Join Simon as he joins the opening panel discussion on Day 1 as he gives an overview of the industry and Analyses the key ideas and processes required to move the industry forward in 2018.

INTERVIEW: Daniel Olufisan, Training Director & Principal Airworthiness Consultant at Wing Engineering Ltd. 

17 August, 2017 - BY: Daniel Olufisan 

The core issues for Daniel Olufisan, Training Director & Principal Airworthiness Consultant at Wing Engineering Limited are the standardisation of safety performance metrics across the industry and more effective and efficient ways for sharing safety knowledge and promoting continuous learning across the industry. With regards to future challenges in 2018 and beyond Daniel mentioned regulations keeping pace with technological innovation and also the introduction of Increasingly complex business models. As to why he is looking forward to the event it was listening to the range of topics and networking across the industry.

Join Daniel on Day 2 for his session - Prioritising the lesson: How can we make it more important to learn than to blame?  

INTERVIEW: David Parkinson, Independent ATM researcher

9 August, 2017 - BY: David Parkinson 

We had a chat with David Parkinson an independent ATM Researcher who has been responsible for developing major systems such as Oceanic ATC at Prestwick and Vessel Traffic Management for Rotterdam Harbour. David mentioned the key issues for him right now are the integration of drone operations into the airspace and the provision of operational systems that do not limit capacity in their conception or design. He stated ‘We need to understand the possibilities that automation offers for high capacity, minimum environmental impact and complete safety.  We need to implement clear mechanisms to tackle illegal or malicious drone operation’.

With regard to challenges in 2018 and beyond David was adamant that automation will affect jobs. If the industry choose to ignore this fact then change will still come but it is likely to be sudden and the result may not be what we want. He went on to say ‘If we properly debate the issues right now we will be better placed to define the future that we want. The airspace is equivalent to a known “operational design domain” in the Society of Automotive Engineers Master Plan for autonomous vehicles. Experimental cars can already run successfully in such an environment.’

Finally David who will talking on the role of the controller and automation on the ATC stream stated that he is most looking forward to the Flight Safety Symposium to ‘Meet old friends and colleagues again face-to-face and catching up with what they’ve been doing and meeting new people and sharing ideas’.

Join David at 1145 on Day 1, Tuesday 26th September, at the Flight Safety Symposium to understand more about the changing role of the controller in 2018 and beyond

INTERVIEW: Walter Schwyzer, Captain at Korean Air

4 August, 2017 - BY: Korean Air 

Walter Schwyzer, Captain at Korean Air was interviewed to discuss his views on the key safety issues and mentioned the most important is fatigue. It is silent, reduces human performance on the short and long run. Also because of our extraordinary capabilities to compensate, it becomes very difficult to pinpoint fatigue as a casual factor of accidents. In the recent years, investigating boards have started citing fatigue, but it is very difficult to measure, especially in a post-accident environment. Flight duty limitations are being used as performance indicators, targets to be achieved; if a pilot can work 1000 hours a year and is working 900 hours, there is a 90% efficiency that needs to be improved so the airline can survive the competitive environment. So either the operation decides to put tabs on limitations, which is highly unlikely or the regulators reduce the limitations to scientific proven limits that many studies have shown. That would require political will that must be driven and supported by a paying passenger that is quite happy with the status quo, so changes are unlikely either way.

The second main issue Walter mentioned would be the decreasing levels of pilot experience in the industry. He was lucky to learn from great Skippers, with decades of diverse and most of all, meaningful experience; He tried to absorb their experience into his. Today’s future Captains don’t have that option, the old breed has pretty much retired and how can you transfer experience when you don’t have it yourself? When he talks about experience, it’s not only the number of flying hours, but meaningful experience which has become rare in the high reliability operations we enjoy today. So when something odd happens, probably the Captain and First Officer have never seen that event before and there is no checklist, nor mental model to adapt and apply. The increase in air traffic is diluting the current experience levels further. One would imagine that pilot shortages would improve the current working conditions thus making a career as a pilot more appealing and bringing more people to become pilots. Walter does not see this happening because the free market liberal employment practices we see today are ill adjusted to produce qualified pilots. Specialised labour cannot be treated like the price of a regular commodity. When you lose experienced pilots, you lose a wealth of knowledge and experience that makes your operation safer, you can’t replace that with pay-to-fly schemes or self-sponsored programs. We still have classic accident scenarios, but nowadays the events are more insidious, veiled and complex where experience plays a major role. That experience is fading away and we are desperately trying to find solutions to compensate that, mostly through training. To summarise it, a fictitious large operator required 4000h for First Officers to apply, today if you have a CPL/IR and some command of English, you will be taken. Things need to change for us not to board an aircraft with an inexperienced and tired set of crew in the years to come.

In the safety industry, we have become victims of our own success. The excellent safety records of the recent years have created a feeling of “We’re okay, I’m okay”. Accidents today have become survivable events. Like an organisation that goes through a mishap, the safety concern rises exponentially and fades away after a few years. You could have a clean safety record for the last 20 years maybe you're doing everything right, or perhaps the operator has been just plain lucky. The introduction of new technologies both in the ATM and aircraft have their downside. Before Lithium batteries we never had to worry about in-flight fires; when the auto throttle was driven by needles and pressure valves, there was no mode confusion or a radar altimeter dictating how to behave to several other systems. New technologies are introduced in the hope to solve previous issues, but it introduces new problems inherent to themselves that we are not aware of until they happen, the Black Swan events for example. Aviation is a very dynamic environment, we’re in constant flux and like Dr. Kathy Abbott’s report indicates the importance of the human element to make the necessary interventions in the flight progress. We need to invest heavily in training, meaningful training to create more resilient pilots to cope with the unknown when they occur, survive the startle effect, keep the airplane flying with basic skills, manual if needed and find viable solutions to the problems. We must be mindful, being resilient does not mean having super powers. We are still “carbon-based units”.  

NEWS: IATA joins as a Trade Body Partner 

18 July, 2017 - BY: FlightGlobal

We are delighted to announce that International Air Transport Association (IATA) has this week joined as a Trade Body Partner for the 2017 Flight Safety Symposium.

IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 275 airlines or 83% of total air traffic. They support many areas of aviation activity and help formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues.

“Safety is our industry’s number one priority and our greatest success. Techniques to improve aviation safety have moved beyond the analysis of isolated accidents to data-driven analyses of trends throughout the air transport value chain. In this context the FlightGlobal Flight Safety Symposium is one venue in which all stakeholders in aviation safety can collectively share best practices which can lead to continuous improvement of our industry’s remarkable safety performance. Only working together in a partnership approach we can achieve meaningful and resilient results.”

Find out more about IATA and their role in the industry here

NEWS: ATCA joins as a Trade Body Partner 

30 June, 2017 - BY: FlightGlobal

Dedicated to progress in air traffic control and preservation of safe flight since 1956, we are delighted to announce that ATCA (the Air Traffic Control Association) has this week joined as a Trade Body Partner for the 2017 Flight Safety Symposium.

ATCA is unique in representing a broad spectrum of civil-military cooperation, typical of global flying activities, providing a forum for those concerned to address the myriad of issues inherent to developing viable air traffic control systems and aviation infrastructures, along with the ever increasing demands on the global navigable airspace environment.

“ATCA looks forward to partnering with FlightGlobal every year in support of the Flight Safety Symposium. Much like ATCA, FlightGlobal has always been at the center of communicating flight safety standards to the aviation community. With increasing cybersecurity threats and the rise of UAS in the NAS, disseminating that information is more important than ever. ATCA never misses the show.” – Peter F. Dumont, President and CEO, Air Traffic Control Association.

This is a vital time for ATCA as there is growing discussion in the US around the overhaul of ATC. Aviation observers and policy experts say that the current push to corporatize ATC may actually have the broad support needed to pass the law.  

Find out more about ATCA and their role in the industry here

INTERVIEW: Insight from Andrew Lawson, Dubai Air Wing

23 June, 2017 - BY: Dubai Air Wing

Hear from Andrew Lawson around what he sees as key industry issues and challenges now and in the future, along with why he is looking forward to this years' Flight Safety Symposium. 

What are the key safety issues that you believe need to be discussed and addressed?

More focus on Engineering & Maintenance related aspects of SMS, it is currently dominated by Flight Operations SMS – even the latest EASA Annual Safety Review 2017 has very little consideration for Airworthiness and Maintenance factors.

What are future challenges you see the industry facing?

Providing an adequate number skilled labour (i.e Engineers). Since the lack of available aircraft engineering apprenticeships there is, and will be, a shortage of necessary skilled Maintenance personnel.

What would you one piece of advice to the industry be?

Encourage and entice teenagers into the aviation maintenance industry (both male and female) – they are our future.

What are you most looking forward to about the Flight Safety Symposium 2017?

Hearing new concepts, feeding off the energy of like-minded people and swapping ideas with others in the industry.  

Hear from Andrew on Day 1 at 11.15am in the Airline Engineering and Maintenance Safety stream


NEWS: Italian investigators reveal sharp rise in drone encounters

10 May, 2017 - BY: FlightGlobal

Last year Italian Safety Authorities highlighted a sharp increase in the number of encounters between aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. Read more 

NEWS: Garuda 737 excursions prode highlights wet-weather Techniques

10 May, 2017 - BY: FlightGlobal

Indonesian investigators have highlighted operational requirements for landing on wet runways as part of the inquiry into a Garuda Boeing 737-800 excursion at Yogyakarta. Read more

NEWS: Airbus demonstates automated refuelling with F-16

9 May, 2017 - BY: FlightGlobal 

"A fundamental advance" in boom operations has arrived. See how Airbus performed an automated air-to-air refueling of an combat aircraft by an airborne tanker with a refueling boom. Read more 

NEWS: UK cockpit union doubts value of psychological testing

8 May, 2017 - BY: FlightGlobal

"New rules need to support pilots rather than demonise them." Does psychological testing provide this support or will it prove to be counter-productive? Read more

ANALYSIS: Business aircraft safety holding steady

5 May, 2017 - BY: FlightGlobal

2016 was one of the safest ever in terms of aviation but underlying standards in the industry are coming under question due to the nature of the accidents  Read more 

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