By Corina Stiubei

The 2020 Safety Summit: Resilience – Human and Business

This year’s theme looked into what happens when the concept of “business as usual” is overturned by an unprecedented event and how businesses have to adjust and find alternate ways to attain safety compliance, all while also caring for the wellbeing of their people.

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Human resilience

Throughout the Summit, it became clear that human resilience cannot be taught, but it can be cultivated, encouraged, and enhanced. The misconception that “what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger” leads to people ploughing through adversity, thinking they are building up their resilience. Instead, what they are often doing is following unrealistic goals and ultimately reaching “burn out”. An organisation is as resilient as the people behind it and in case of a new and unpredicted situation, the team needs to be kept informed and involved in the decision-making process.

A concern was voiced when it comes to the discrepancy between where compliance requirements started and where they are right now: the “old days” when daily business – things we do to operate without hurting or killing people or damaging things – was also enough to satisfy the regulator to nowadays, when not only that the 2 “workloads” – daily operations and compliance – do not have equal weight, but, especially for smaller operators, the compliance part is almost disconnected from and significantly larger than the work required for operations.

Ramp checks

In the coming months, ramp checks for foreign-registered aircraft will also entail potential alcohol and drug tasting but only based on prior suspicions. Nevertheless, each national authority may decide to enforce the testing for locally or EASA-registered aircraft, based on own criteria. As this has a strong link to the implementation of the peer support programmes scheduled to be in force before mid-February 2021, we would like to encourage peers to speak up if they suspect or have the confirmation that someone in their circle has a problem with alcohol and/or drugs. Getting help for someone as soon as possible could contribute to avoiding that their professional and personal lives are compromised.

Learning from the past and going forward

Looking at the past 9 months, we see that despite confronted with unprecedented and unexpected circumstances, the business aviation industry stood strong. Our industry is blessed with the desire to keep moving, adapting, evolving, and fostering safety partnerships. The crisis brought us together and this unity helped us cope. We should keep our focus on risk reduction and change management and not shy away from knowing what we do not know.

In case you missed it

We published an event summary and the recordings of the entire 3-day summit. They are available on our event page!

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Need more information ?

Please contact Corina Meindl at