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CASE's contact details

Malcolm Rusby,
TAG Aviation
mrusby@tagaviation.co.uk

Simon Drakeley
Mobile:07887 512 091
spdpilot@gmail.com

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An industry-led initiative to improve flight safety is gaining momentum

The year 2013 marks the five-year anniversary of the Corporate Aviation Safety Executive (CASE), an initiative that arose from a group of like-minded safety managers whose aim was to collate and share data with the purpose of improving aviation safety. Since its inception, CASE has grown to become a vital group for a number of UK-based operators to share experiences with regards to flight safety.
Malcolm Rusby, European safety director at TAG Aviation, heads up the project and has been involved in developing it from the start. “We started off quite small. I used to do a lot of safety management training in a previous role, and we always said at the end, wouldn't it be a good idea if we got together and shared data. And that’s where it all began.”

Today, CASE has around 40 members, including Vistair, Gama Aviation, TAG, London Executive Aviation and Hangar8, which currently represent around two thirds of the UK’s business aviation operations. The CASE group meets quarterly to share flight safety data and experiences, and it regularly sends out email reports highlighting the latest findings.

Technology provider Vistair, which has been involved since the start and has provided a significant amount of support to the group, has worked with the CASE group to develop an electronic reporting tool called Air Safety Central (ASC). Rusby explains more about the tool: “ASC enables us to upload data and reports from the CASE group into the system so the wider industry can benefit from our findings. This has been going for about four and a half months and we've already got over 150 reports in there.”

Air Safety Central is a web-based corporate social network that allows safety managers to post completed but anonymous safety investigations to the flying community. Crew can review data, comment on any aspect of an incident, and share best practice through a corporate social network. There is also the ability to join groups of similar operators to share safety data and draw trend analysis from a far larger pool than might otherwise be possible. “Working with Vistair we have also developed a lighter version of ASC for the smaller operators, which costs just £20 a month,” says Rusby.

CASE is currently working on a number of projects, which according to Rusby, the findings from which will be reported into ASC when completed. “We currently have three big projects with the National Air Traffic Service, which are going really well, and we are also working with the CAA on a project to equip small aircraft with quick access recorders so we can download flight data monitoring information. We found out in March that we received the funding for this and it is an area that we have never had data before so it is an extremely important project.

“In addition, one of our biggest projects concerns the harmonization of standard operating procedures,” says Rusby. “As part of this we are working closely with training providers to put CASE data into their courses, so the training is more realistic and in line with what is happening in the industry.”
Going forward, the main aim for CASE is to grow its membership. “Over the next few years, we would like to have more European companies involved and we want more engineering companies and helicopter and general aviation operators to share data. We are also aiming to build up the flight data monitoring database so we can offer some real insights,” Rusby concludes.

In the next issue of Business Airport International we will look in more detail at the CASE group’s projects to help improve safety within the business aviation industry.