The Air Partner Group is continuing to invest and extend our suite of aviation services that we offer, following the acquisition of Redline Assured Security in 2019. Together with aviation safety experts, Baines Simmons, the two companies form our Safety & Security division, extending our capabilities even further. The division works closely together, providing a complete suite of services and empowering clients to resolve compliance and regulatory performance challenges.
Paul Mason, Managing Director for the division and Ian Holder, Managing Director for Baines Simmons talk us through the safety and security landscape.
COVID-19 has impacted the aviation industry hugely. How do you predict safety and security measures will change as we emerge from the pandemic?
Ian Holder: Despite a current downturn in passenger numbers, the aviation industry must remain vigilant in all aspects of flight safety and maintain focus as flights begin to resume. Skill fade and maintaining staff competencies has been a genuine concern for aviation companies throughout the pandemic, and we quickly responded to that need early on in adapting our training to virtual deliveries, ensuring organisations can continue to operate safely.
Many operators will have faced a contraction of some form and, in emerging from the pandemic will face the challenges of growth; moreover, the operating environment and suppliers will have changed. Never before has there been such a great need for effective safety risk management. We should see management teams putting emphasis on the importance of an effective Safety Management System (SMS) enabling them to safely navigate through the new challenges and risks thrown up by this crisis by using established management of change and safety risk management processes, without resorting to ad hoc or unproven solutions.
Paul Mason: It goes without saying that the ongoing pandemic has had wide-reaching and continued effects on the aviation industry as a whole. For security, even throughout the pandemic, skills have had to also remain sharp and regulatory standards kept in pace with. ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) who are responsible for creating regulations for aviation safety and security, have designated 2021 as the “Year of Security Culture” and as an ICAO endorsed Aviation Security Training Centre, we fully support this. We continually highlight the importance of having robust security processes and practises in place as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
How do you work with the charter side of the business to ensure our flights are safe and secure, and how do you more widely contribute to the sphere of aviation safety and security?
Ian: As a group, we continue to set the benchmark for safety in the aircraft charter industry, conducting comprehensive audits of every partner to ensure you fly only on aircraft that meet the most rigorous standards. All certifications are in place and we regularly charter aircraft audited by ISBAO, Argus or Wyvern. From a Baines Simmons perspective, we advise regulators globally and help shape thinking around all aspects of flight safety. Our expertise and practical approach is used to guide and improve the safety performance of aviation organisations globally.
Paul: On the security side of the business, we work closely with many of the Air Partner charter operators by providing security training solutions to ensure their compliance. We have also collaborated with Air Partner Private Jets and Group Charter teams by providing security solutions, the most notable one recently being security screening for passengers evacuating the Diamond Princess cruise ship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We work with aviation companies across the whole industry, including airports, cargo and global airlines to provide security solutions to enhance their security practises and ensure compliance.