IFA Conference on training and Safety Management Systems

Some of the IFA leaders at the conference (left to right): Mr Frank Turner, President; Mr John Vincent, CEO; Me, VP-Australasia; and Mr Cengiz Turkoglu, Chairman of the Technical Committee

On 14th and 15th November I attended the annual conference of the International Federation of Airworthiness (IFA), for which I am the Vice-President for Australasia. The conference was kindly hosted by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department at their headquarters near the Hong Kong International Airport.

The conference included:

  • Board Meeting
  • Annual General Meeting
  • A Workshop on training for the next generation of aviation professionals
  • A Forum on how Safety Management Systems (SMS) can make a real difference.

Cengiz Turkoglu leads a lively discussion during the Forum

The Workshop and Forum included enthusiastic participants from airlines, maintenance organisations, regulators, and universities and other training organisations. They came mainly from Asia and Europe.

I came away encouraged as well as informed. In the Workshop I was encouraged by the calibre and commitment of the universities and other training organisations. In the Forum I was encouraged by the honest presentations and discussions on SMS, which would also have pleased SMS expert Rob Collins. Like the title of his book, they were ‘Safety Management Without the Mumbo Jumbo’. IFA’s CEO, John Vincent, openly admitted the simplicity of SMS concepts — refreshing when the SMS ‘industry’ has a vested interest in complexity and mystery.

The title of my presentation was: ‘Seven Deadly Hazards: Does Your SMS Address Them?’. The hazards, mainly for structural maintenance, have tripped up others. See ‘Tech‘.

The annual conference is only one of the benefits of IFA membership. If you are passionate about airworthiness, why not join IFA? You can join on the IFA’s web site.