Operational safety has always been the number one priority for Albinati Aeronautics – but how does it maintain and improve that record?
With a wide-ranging safety brief, the Safety Manager’s daily work includes safety inspections, risk assessment and monitoring the company’s safety management systems across all levels.
“Albinati Aeronautics has reached a high level of safety because it has always had the right people following the right procedures. If there is one area I have been able to improve over the last two years it is connecting people – internal communication is the key to success,” explained Sergio Goncalves, Safety and Compliance Monitoring Manager with ten years of high level experience.
The Safety Manager organises a series of safety meetings throughout the year that bring specialists from each department together. “We are trying to do everything in a centralised way now, face-to-face rather than by telephone or by email.
“I prepare these meetings in advance and we sit down to discuss any safety or compliance issues. Any problems will trigger different corrective actions in a group, which really benefits the situation.”
Albinati Aeronautics qualified for the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations Stage 2 (IS-BAO) in 2009, achieving the highest level of aviation safety. The company is also one of the few operators to be CAT II certified for landing in adverse weather conditions.
At the same time, highly skilled pilots are recruited on a full-time basis from the elite of military and commercial aviation. They are trained according to Albinati’s stringent flight procedures and civil aviation regulations and subject to the strictest medical check-ups.
The in-house CAMO team (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation) is composed of highly qualified engineers who ensure that the maintenance of the fleet is performed in full compliance with manufacturers’ requirements, only by manufacturer-approved service centres, and that applicable safety regulations are always met.
One of the Safety Manager’s recent improvements has been to implement a new Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS), which includes recurrent training and hazard identification through the monitoring of crew alertness on flights. The simple, 30-second written document helps crew to assess themselves on a four-point scale at the most critical stages of the flight.
The FRMS manual is intended for all crew members, as well as ground operations staff working around the clock on shifts. It emphasises the need for adequate sleep, identifies work-related risks and how to monitor fatigue.
“It not only teaches them how to identify and deal with fatigue, especially on night flights and long haul, but also how to prepare themselves for their duties in the best manner. We submitted the project to the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and were delighted when it was approved with high enthusiasm from them.”
“Hopefully, it will be used on a more widespread basis in the future but first it has to be monitored for two or three years.”
The Safety Manager also says that a widely implemented ‘Just Culture’ encourages staff to report occurrences as much as they can. Based on a learn-by-experience philosophy, the culture encourages the sharing of safety related information in an atmosphere of trust.
It has been a simple but effective tool in the safety process. “There has been a lot of internal marketing to encourage staff to do this. We rely on them as the eyes and ears of the company.”
Reporting back feeds the company’s Safety Review Board and Safety Action Group, helping them to take strategic decisions and actions to achieve the established safety performance goals.