Business Aviation Safety

Business Aviation Safety Guidance for Flight Crews

A review of Business Aviation Safety by the UK CAA and subsequent meetings with:

  • NATS Division of Safety;
  • European Business Aviation Association (EBAA);
  • British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA); and
  • Flight Safety International

have identified a number of safety issues for Business Aviation.

The Business Aviation sector is showing strong growth and the emergence of Very Light Jets is expected to accelerate that growth. The particular pressures and challenges faced by crews operating in this sector, where often flight crews are required to meet and greet the passengers and perform the duties of flight ops departments, as well as fly the aircraft, require a clear focus on such safety issues.

This brief guide aims to draw the attention of flight crews to the safety issues identified and to direct them to sources of detailed and up-to-date best practice information. It is very important that a "safety culture" exists in each organisation, of whatever size, involved in Business Aviation. This information will inform that culture.

Safety Issues

Level Busts

Business Jets are involved in a disproportionately high number of all level busts. NATS have set up a website to deal with this subject and it is recommended reading for all flight crews.

Runway Incursions

The number of reported runway incursions has increased recently. While this is not attributed to Business Aviation any more than any other sector, the potentially disastrous consequences of an incursion make this a continuing safety concern.

Communication Error

Communication error is a significant contributory factor in both level busts and runway incursions in the UK. A condensed version of CAP 413 Radiotelephony Manual entitled "A Quick Reference Guide to UK Phraseology for Commercial Air Transport Pilots" was published in 2007. Its goal is to improve safety by raising RTF standards.

Flight Time Limitations

Commercial pressures, journey times to work, security checks and other factors are adding to the time on duty of many flight crews. Flight crew fatigue is a legitimate safety concern and must be carefully managed. Further information can be found in CAP 371 and CAP 789.