Fixing a serious insurance problem

This project involved a small, privately-owned general aviation business providing ab-initio pilot training, aircraft hire and general charter activities. The business had experienced a spate of incidents and accidents that had led to a five-fold increase in insurance premiums that threatened the commercial viability of the business.

The project involved an examination of the safety incidents, interviews with key stakeholders and an analysis of what was required to restore the safety record of the company.

This research enabled us to identify gaps in the safety management system and design suitable changes. Key personnel were identified inside the organisation to take on the roles of ‘standardisation manager’ and ‘safety officer’.

The profile of safety was elevated dramatically and the principal became actively engaged in the daily management of safety inside the organisation. Policies regarding the hire of aircraft for ’air safaris’ by foreign pilots were changed to ensure much closer supervision by the company’s flight instructors. Handling techniques were reviewed where the accident history had shown a recurrence of incidents on a particular type.

The outcome was that the trail of safety-related incidents ceased and company personnel all developed heightened awareness of the need to manage safety proactively and in a daily sense.

Within six months, the insurers reviewed their risk profile and reduced the operator’s premiums to industry-standard levels.