“The absence of an accident doesn’t mean your [flight operation] is safe,” new Flight Safety Foundation president and CEO Kevin Hiatt told AIN. Hiatt, who is a former vice president of safety at World Airways as well as a retired Delta Airlines pilot, said the excellent U.S. aviation safety record the past few years has some critics wondering how it could ever be any better. But, according to Hiatt, that’s yesterday’s thinking and is precisely why the foundation initiated a campaign against complacency.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has promoted Kevin Hiatt, most recently COO, to the position of president and CEO, starting in January. He succeeds Bill Voss, who will return to the FAA as an executive in aviation safety after six years at the helm of the foundation. Before joining the foundation in 2005, Hiatt spent 26 years with Delta Air Lines in various positions, including chief pilot at the Atlanta International pilot crew base.
The rise in global demand for commercial and business aircraft has not been accompanied by a proportional increase in the number of technicians ready to service those airplanes and helicopters; in fact, the number of qualified maintenance personnel continues to dwindle. The Flight Safety Foundation (Booth No. 3532) recently formed a new Maintenance Advisory Committee (MAC) to examine issues affecting aircraft maintainers and find ways to encourage new talent in the field.