Ravn Outlines Safety Improvements As NTSB Pushes For Investigation

first_imgThe National Transportation Safety Board took the unusual move last month of asking the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the Ravn family of companies.Download AudioA report says Hageland failed to achieve safety outcomes, at the time losing operational control and launching flights without proper oversight. The company’s CEO says the report does not reflect the changes Ravn has made in recent months.Wreckage of the Cessna 208 that killed two pilots in April. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska State Troopers)The FAA says it already was looking into the companies before the NTSB issued its request. Still, the board wants a hard look at the airlines, citing 6 accidents over the past two years, including two fatal crashes in the Y-K Delta. Bob Hajdukovich is President and CEO of Ravn. He says the report is a step behind the company’s efforts.“Everything that is requested for in the letter has already happened or is in the process of happening, so really, what was the purpose of the letter?” Hajdukovich said.The NTSB says an inadequate risk assessment program may have played a role in the crash that killed four people in a Cessna 208 outside St. Marys in November. The agency says that flight is among many Hageland allowed to launch without knowing or addressing some risks.Hajdukovich says since January, that process of deciding whether it’s safe to fly was made in tandem with a central control center in Palmer. Before, flights were release based out of hubs like Bethel or Nome.“I think when you have a local control there is the potential for making more of an economic risk assessment as opposed to a pure risk assessment,” Hajdukovich said. said. “So in other words, that person on the ground in Bethel can be impacted by 300 people in the lobby, 20,000 pounds of mail, or bad weather. So there’s always a tension that’s there that you don’t want to be there when you’re truly trying to analyze the risk of the flight.”The NTSB held off on making their recommendation after the operational control center was in place. But after two pilots died on a training flight in April, the agency moved ahead.Hajdukovich lists millions of dollars in improvements at Era Aviation, now named Corvus Airline, which carries flights with 10 or more passengers. He adds Hageland is seeking 5-star rating in the Medallion Foundation safety program, which exceeds FAA regulations. In any case, Hajdukovich says safety is the top priority.“That’s not a long term strategy to hurt airplanes or certainly hurt our customers so we’re going to take every opportunity to improve our safety systems,” Hajdukovich said. “We have humans behind the wheel, and we have customers that can also be a part of our safety system. They should report that they were in bad weather and they didn’t think the pilot should be there. They should report that. They shouldn’t be so hungry to get home that they are part of that pressure pot, that pressure cooker,”The FAA says it will formally respond within 90 days. They report having increased surveillance since 2011 and had a team on site last week.last_img read more

Egencia reveals travel policy insights

first_imgEgencia, a travel management company, released its report on ‘Egencia Travel Policy Insights – Global Air Edition’ last month which highlighted findings on air policy trends among its global travellers. The findings show that companies’ concern for improved traveller satisfaction, productivity and talent retention can lead to trends in how policies are defined around the world.Business travel makes up an important component of the USD 1.6 trillion travel market. “At Egencia, we see a huge opportunity to help companies move from unmanaged to managed travel. Building good travel policies is fundamental to this shift, but they are rarely benchmarked,” revealed Mark Hollyhead, Chief Operations Officer at Egencia. “With this report, we take a look at our own data to provide clues on how policies are shaped around the world.”The findings showed some key trends in prior approval, access to premium cabin class, advanced purchase behaviour and day-of-week timing for both booking and travelling.Globally, the vast majority of business air travel is done in economy class, and this may include premium economy. However, many companies unlock access to first or business class based on the length of flight, ranging from four to ten hours. This translates to a higher rate of premium travel for international trips – 33% of international travellers are allowed access to premium travel, while only 12% of domestic travellers get this special treatment.A typical feature of travel policies is a requirement to purchase air tickets well in advance. The recent ARC/Expedia report stated that Egencia clients have been shifting to longer booking windows (15+ days out) for premium cabin tickets originating across multiple countries including the US, the UK and France. With advanced purchase policies, the advantage of choosing the least expensive day to book may not be a priority. However, for last-minute bookings, choosing the best day to save on booking a ticket may make or break business travel plans, especially for a premium fare.Around the world, Monday is the preferred day to travel for both premium and economy class travellers – this gives them time to get their work done and be home for the weekend. However, travel in proximity to a weekend can lead travellers to incorporate some leisure time on a business trip, to create what’s known as “bleisure.” Premium class travellers are nearly twice as likely to stay through Saturday. International travel tends to lend itself to end-of-week travel as well.last_img read more