Working in an aviation safety department can feel overwhelming, especially if you can’t find the answers to the questions or issues keeping you awake at night. Finding answers shouldn’t necessarily require attending time-consuming training seminars or hiring expensive consultants.
Instead, sometimes the best resource and sounding board are our peers across the business aviation industry. These are fellow professionals who’ve “been there, done that,” and can offer valuable guidance in helping you navigate unexpected challenges.
But what if you have not been fortunate enough to forge a network outside of our organization?
Here at AvBrite, we’re taking a simple, grassroots approach to safety collaboration by building an online community of enthusiastic new to experienced safety professionals from across the business aviation industry. And we’re making the process of communicating with each other as straightforward as possible.
At AvBrite, we’re leveraging the power of innovative team communication technology to grow this networking and information-sharing group of people with the AvBrite Community.
The popular communication platform Slack, uses features such as chat rooms (organized by topic), private groups, and direct messaging. Most importantly, Slack takes security seriously -- "Enterprise-grade security is built into every aspect of how users collaborate and get work done in Slack, without sacrificing usability so that you can get the most value out of Slack and do your best work." The platform has become the standard mode of communication for many organizations worldwide and can be accessed using mobile devices and desktop computers alike.
Chat rooms are more formally known as “channels.” Channels keep conversations organized and focused on specific topics. Whether you’re seeking help on a particular safety problem, want the scoop on an auditing vendor, or have a general question about running a safety management system (SMS), there’s a channel for it.
By using channels within the AvBrite Community, trusted professionals from flight departments across the industry can work together to help one another navigate through unexpected challenges.
Few industries stand to benefit more from the sharing of information between organizations than aviation does. A failure to learn from the experiences of others can lead to events that result in costly damage, serious injuries, and even loss of life.
As a result, organizations such as the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have championed the concept of collaboration between all entities within the aviation industry [1, 2]. According to experts, the business aviation sector, in particular, could help reduce accidents by working together better as a community .
Sharing within our community can be accomplished in a growing number of effective ways, such as attending safety stand-downs, roundtable discussions, and even participating in programs such Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS). These are great collaboration efforts to consider for the long term, but sometimes the collaboration we need the most is a simple audience with people who have been through - or are currently going through - the same experiences as you.
For instance, is there a company safety issue that you’re not sure how to resolve? Are you trying to figure out what industry “best practice” is supposed to be? Or just wanting to get a head start on an upcoming audit but don’t know where to begin? Perhaps you’re a new safety manager, and don’t know where to start.
These are just some important questions that can be addressed through being part of a community.
A rising tide lifts all boats
AvBrite aims to bring together experienced and enthusiastic professionals to collectively improve safety across the business aviation industry. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of being a member of our community:
Making connections with outside organizations is, fortunately, becoming easier in the digital age. But networking can still be a complicated process. And with the fast pace and unpredictability of business aviation flight operations, finding the right time to sync up schedules and arrange face-to-face meetings or conference calls can be daunting.
A faster and simpler way to discuss issues is to use a Slack channel to answer your questions. Submit a question and be notified the moment someone answers your question -- it’s that easy.
ICAO also understands the value of a community effort across the industry. In their safety management manual (SMM), they mention that “Collaboration is highly desirable... It encourages the mutual awareness of safety risks... It also creates an opportunity for the transfer of knowledge and working practices that could improve the safety effectiveness of each organization” .
Data, trends, and other critical safety information that remain siloed away within a single flight department will do little to help improve safety across the industry. On the other hand, sharing this important safety information can have tremendous benefits -- the proverb "a rising tide lifts all boats" comes to mind.
Using a modern communication platform can help accomplish this important task. Members can communicate important information with others and offer valuable safety insights that may one day help prevent a future accident or incident at someone else’s flight department.
A safety community gets people talking to each other from other flight departments. But it is also used as a platform to bring in guest speakers and experts from other areas.
For example, AvBrite's Community members were invited to a free interactive webinar regarding FAA pilot medicals last month. The guest speaker was Keith Roxo, MD, a TOPGUN-trained military pilot, Flight Surgeon and medical director for Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One and Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 in Yuma, and Commercial Operations Director at Wingman Med.
Dr. Roxo made himself available to answer a wide variety of hot topics regarding the FAA medical process. Topics included over-the-counter medications and fitness to fly, dealing with pilot mental health issues, what to do if your medical application is denied, and so much more.
Opportunities like these to share expert guidance will be a prime feature offered to AvBrite’s entire community throughout the year.
Due to the specialized nature of safety work, many of our accomplishments within the safety department tend to go unnoticed. Whether that’s as simple as receiving your first safety report or as complex as completing your first successful audit, these things matter. Consequently, sometimes our work can feel under-appreciated.
Share your wins (big or small) with your peers on the AvBrite Community! Similarly, feel free to commiserate on the difficulties, rejoice about the successes, and learn or get motivated from what other safety leaders are doing.
Even if you aren’t comfortable contributing yourself, one of the many benefits of listening to others talk about their safety experiences is that it shows you might not be alone in facing particular challenges.
Variety is the spice of life. You don’t have to represent a world-renowned flight department or be a seasoned safety practitioner to get a seat at our table. Our community of safety professionals come from a variety of organizations and backgrounds.
So, no matter what safety question or problem you may have, there are likely other community members who can answer it. Everyone has a unique perspective that brings value to the conversation.
Also, the AvBrite team are always on hand to answer questions or provide safety updates and insights.
Community (noun) - ‘unified by common interests’
The AvBrite Community is an association you might consider being a part of if you work in aviation safety. The community has been running with an exclusive group of industry safety managers but is now open to applications.
Some popular channels include: general discussion, audits, SMS, ASAP, resources, SMS help, and safety news.
The community is exclusive to people enthusiastic about working in aviation safety. This barrier to entry ensures high-quality discussions, debates, and resources, as do our community guidelines.
Membership is subscription-based, so cancel any time.
There is tremendous value in having an entire community of like-minded individuals at your fingertips. And at AvBrite, we are proud to play a part in facilitating the improvement of safety by bringing people together.
Become a member of the AvBrite Community today!
1. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) (2018) Doc 9859: Safety Management Manual, 4th Ed.
2. Flight Safety Foundation (2021) No Sign of Decline. AeroSafety World. Published June 7 2021.
Don't waste valuable time!get help now