Washington, DC-November 16, 2012—The first of its kind in North America, RAA brought together top regional airline safety and operations officers this week to meet with federal safety regulators and to assess the industry’s most recent safety advancements. The three-day session of the RAA Joint Regional Operations Council (ROC) and Safety Council was held at the Embry-Riddle Aviation University’s (ERAU) College of Aviation in Daytona Beach, FL.
Council Chairman Bradley Elstad, Republic Airways VP-Safety & Regulatory Compliance, and Scott Foose, RAA Senior VP-Operations and Safety, underscored the measurable progress RAA member airlines have made in the past two years refining key safety programs. “We are pleased to be recognized this week as the segment of the airline industry that is evolving these programs faster than any other group,” said Foose, underlining “regional airlines are industry leaders in not only adopting voluntary safety programs such as FOQA [Flight Operational Quality Assurance], but developing sophistication in program outputs.” Elstad added, “RAA members are continuously analyzing safety data from our aircraft and reports from our employees. While this is an important milestone, we have now taken the next step forward beyond gathering and analyzing data by sharing our safety information with other carriers via the FAA’s ASIAS [Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing] program.”
Regional airlines, operating modern, technologically advanced regional jets and turboprops, operate 50% of the nation’s scheduled airline flights every day. “We have an obligation to continuously look for ways to improve safety and our involvement in the ASIAS program does just that,” said Foose. “Our passengers and our employees deserve nothing less than our best effort.”
A ROC member Captain Steve Linthwaite, Jazz Aviation LP Vice President- Flight Operations, called the meetings between regional airlines’ chief operating department and safety department executives “progressive.”
The event concluded yesterday with a presentation by Embry-Riddle Professor Daniel Friedenzohn, who noted “changes in the regulatory environment will generate higher demand for pilots” at a time when the airline industry is shifting domestic seating capacity. Friedenzohn pointed to FAA forecasts suggesting the airline industry will grow during the next 20 years, increasing the demand for pilots.
Founded in 1975, Washington, D.C.-based RAA provides a wide array of technical, government relations and public relations services for regional airlines. With safety as its highest priority, the association's 28 member airlines and nearly 200 associate members represent the key decision-makers of this vital sector of the commercial aviation industry. With more than 13,000 regional airline flights every day, regional airlines operate half of the nation’s scheduled flights with nearly 75 percent of U.S. airports relying on regional airlines exclusively.