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Industry comment

A regular opinion piece from ERA Director General Simon McNamara, featured in ERA magazine Regional International, July/August 2017 issue

Keeping safety as our top priority 

Our industry’s reputation is built first and foremost on its safety record and this is something of which the industry can be justifiably proud. The assurance of safety has reached the point where, for the vast majority of flying passengers, it is taken as a given and few people who board a flight will have any idea of the length and efforts that the industry has gone to ensure that they have a safe flight.

Striving higher
For our industry though, it remains a constant priority to retain the current high levels of safety and strive even higher. Almost every part of the business is touched by safety, and for any airline to not take safety seriously risks not just the lives of its passengers but also the future of its business. Just one serious incident or accident can destroy an airline’s future commercial viability through reputational damage alone.

ERA’s role
ERA plays its part in safety matters with our proactive Air Safety Group that brings members together to share experiences and information on safety matters. For the past five years, we have also co-hosted, with Eurocontrol and the Flight Safety Foundation, a major annual safety forum attracting over 300 safety professionals. This year’s event focussed on preventing runway collisions. We also publish a series of guidance and advice documents called Safety Targeted Awareness Reports, or STARs. These are published on our website and cover multiple topics, including amongst others, unstabilised approaches, winter operations, carriage of lithium-ion batteries and lightning strikes.

I am extremely proud that ERA takes an active role in the promotion of safety and it remains one of our key strategic objectives. However, one of the most humbling parts of our safety work is to see the many safety professionals for whom the promotion of safety is not just a job, but rather a passion, that they live and breathe in their day-to-day work. Almost certainly, without their passion and commitment we would not be as safe as we are today. So, this issue, focussing on safety and training, is for all of them – thank you!