Safety Leadership in Uncertain Times

January 26th, 2021 — By Benjamin J. Murray, President & COO — Last year, after nearly three decades working for some of the biggest names in business aviation, including NetJets, Landmark Aviation and aviation consultancy North Star Solutions, I found myself considering my next career move.

Benjamin J. Murray President and Chief Operating Officer - safety leadershipSkyservice Business Aviation got my attention.

I was deeply familiar with the company, having visited its FBOs, contracted its maintenance department and recommended its aircraft management services to my customers. I admired Skyservice™ for not only its professionalism, but its leadership role in the Canadian business aviation community.

When I joined the team last November, the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing. Operations were necessarily slowed, but I was impressed by how quickly the team had implemented progressive ideas to facilitate business, invested resources to protect staff and employees, and enacted a business continuity plan that enabled people to work from home.

We’re not out of this pandemic yet, but when I look back over the last 10 months, I don’t think there is anything Skyservice could have done differently. We’ve shown tremendous leadership with our wholehearted dedication to health and safety across all our business lines: aircraft management, charter, sales, maintenance and FBO services.

Safety is the pillar upon which this company was built. Our goal is and always has been to exceed the standard and look for ways to make our business stronger.

When challenged by the pandemic, we established a COVID task force to assess the risk to our organization, and then we focused on developing solutions to protect our staff, clients and passengers.

We’d already been looking into Aviation Clean Air’s (ACA’s) patented NeedlePoint Bi-Polar Ionization technology solution that neutralizes surface and airborne pathogens, including COVID-19. We hastened its implementation, receiving approvals to install the ACA system on numerous types of business aircraft. We also integrated hypochlorous acid—a highly effective yet environmentally friendly disinfectant—into our existing sanitization procedures for our facilities.

In addition, Skyservice FBOs in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa and Calgary were certified compliant with the National Air Transportation Association’s Safety 1st Clean standard.

Our response to COVID-19 has been guided and supported by our internal Safety Management System (SMS), which influences all our planning and policy initiatives. In my experience, the effectiveness of a company’s SMS speaks volumes about its commitment to safety. Here at Skyservice, I’m proud to say we evaluate every single event within the context of our SMS. Every action we take must reinforce our absolute commitment to safety with every product and service we offer. The ACA system is a great example.

Most recently, we are excited to be named the exclusive Canadian distributor, reseller and installer of another leading aircraft safety solution: VisionSafe’s Emergency Vision Assurance System (EVAS®). When smoke invades a cockpit and obscures a pilot’s vision, EVAS provides a clear line of sight so crew members can still see to land safely. It is another valuable tool in our safety arsenal.

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At Skyservice, we are always thinking about the next best innovation; always forging ahead with a single-minded dedication to excellence in every aspect of our operation. We’ve invested heavily in our SMS, adopting new technology to help us gather information that will inform how we develop our safety culture and our focus on operational efficiency.

Our Flight Operations Quality Assurance Program and our Flight Risk Assessment Tool allow us to capture and visualize data, enabling greater progress in our pursuit of excellence.

We don’t want to follow the baseline; that’s not acceptable. As a leader in Canadian business aviation, we are striving for the highest level of safety and quality. That goal drives everything we do.

I believe the Canadian market is ripe for further expansion, and we now have the systems in place to facilitate aggressive growth in all our business lines.

Pre-COVID, Skyservice recorded its most profitable year ever. We’re using this slower time to regroup; to refine our policies and procedures so we can be even stronger in 2021.
As an industry leader, Skyservice has continued to set the benchmark for safety during this pandemic, and we will continue to innovate as we fly towards bluer skies later this year.

Skyservice offers leading aircraft safety solutions to the Canadian Aviation market. click here to read more.