Many leaders in the aviation industry already recognize the annual CHC Safety & Quality Summit as being one of the best conferences of its type
Friday April 20th 2012 - by Elan Head
Many leaders in the aviation industry already recognize the annual CHC Safety & Quality Summit as being one of the best conferences of its type. At the 2012 Summit held in Vancouver, Transport Canada reinforced that reputation by awarding the 2012 edition of its prestigious Aviation Safety Award to the event and its organizers.
The Transport Canada Aviation Safety Award was established to recognize persons, groups, companies, organizations, agencies or departments that have made an exceptional contribution to aviation safety in Canada. The CHC Safety & Quality Summit was selected for the 2012 award because of its tradition of
bringing together aviation safety experts from around the globe to share best practices and explore innovation in aviation safety.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The CHC Safety & Quality Summit provides a valuable opportunity for those working in the field of aviation to come together to share knowledge,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Transport Minister Denis Lebel, commenting on the award that was presented at a sponsorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ reception at the Summit on March 27. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Canada has one of the safest aviation systems in the world, and working together with our partners is essential to ensure that we maintain and improve safety in the years ahead.Ã¢â‚¬Â
At the 2012 Summit, Canadian Skies sat down with CHC HelicopterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s outgoing vice president for safety and quality, Greg Wyght (who was recently promoted to VP of systems operations, overseeing CHCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new operations centre in Dallas, Texas). Wyght said he conceived of the original idea for the Summit nine years ago, when he brought all of CHCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s safety and quality managers together to develop a common safety management system. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everyone was speaking different languages,Ã¢â‚¬Â he recalled. The idea of an annual summit with expert speakers struck him as a way to help develop CHCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s internal safety culture; opening it to the industry at large was a logical way to share its benefits and costs. The first formal CHC Safety & Quality Summit took place in 2005.
Today, the non-profit Summit is a well-established industry event with a roster of sponsors that includes AgustaWestland, Chartis, Eurocopter, Heli-One, Sikorsky, Swiss Re and Willis, among others. Approximately 800 delegates attended the 2012 Summit, which featured 40 separate sessions presented by a variety of internationally recognized aviation safety experts. Featured speakers included world-renowned lecturer Stephen M.R. Covey, author Tom Casey, and safety consultant and Skies contributing editor Tony Kern, who each spoke on a specific part of the SummitÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s theme of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Improving Safety Culture Through Talent, Training and Trust.Ã¢â‚¬Â Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger, the U.S. Airways captain who became world-famous after his successful ditching of Flight 1549 in New York CityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Hudson River, spoke at the SummitÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gala dinner.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Because weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been doing this for a number of years, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve built up a really good network,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Wyght, explaining the SummitÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ability to attract top speakers and presenters. While many of these experts are specifically recruited by CHC, 16 of the speakers at the 2012 Summit were selected through an open Ã¢â‚¬Å“call for papers,Ã¢â‚¬Â to introduce additional variety into the program line-up.
The SummitÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ability to unite the industry in the shared goal of advancing safety was highlighted by another awards presentation at the event. Offshore oil-and-gas operators (and competitors) CHC, Bristow Group and PHI Inc. shared the stage to award lifetime safety achievement awards to three outstanding employees: Owen Shannon of CHC, John Wilson of Bristow and Mike Hurst of PHI. According to CHC chief executive officer Bill Amelio, the joint presentation was intended not only to honour Shannon, Wilson and HurstÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s contributions, but also to emphasize that, while their companies may compete for contracts, they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t compete on safety.
Wyght credited CHC Safety & Quality Summit committee members Duduzile Kheswa, Irina Sakgaev, Melisa Tang, Pieter Uni and Randy Walberg for making the 2012 event a success. Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re trying to drive a level of excellence in the industry,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s their almost limitless energy, dedication and professionalism that makes it happen.Ã¢â‚¬Â
CHC to Open Dallas Ops Centre
by Elan Head
Earlier this year, a rumour went around the industry that CHC Helicopter would be moving its headquarters from Richmond, B.C., to Texas. That rumour was false. However, while CHC as a company will not be moving to Texas, it will be opening a new operations centre in Dallas under the direction of its former vice-president for safety and quality, Greg Wyght.
According to chief executive officer Bill Amelio, the new integrated operations centre is intended to increase productivity, enhance safety and improve customer service by consolidating functions that are currently spread across CHCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worldwide divisions. The model was inspired by the operations centres of major airlines, and reflects the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new Ã¢â‚¬Å“One CHCÃ¢â‚¬Â approach to doing business.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right in line with our transformation as a company,Ã¢â‚¬Â elaborated Wyght. Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re focusing on greater efficiencies and greater service to our customers. . . . As part of our transformation, we decided weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to take the best practices we see in the airline industry and try to apply those to our operations.Ã¢â‚¬Â
According to Wyght, CHC evaluated five cities around the world as possible sites for its integrated operations centre. Dallas was selected for its competitive cost of real estate, reliability of communications, status as a central commuting hub, and the wealth of operations centre and aviation experience in its talent pool. While the operations centre will start with a staff of just over 60 people, that number is expected to grow through new hires and employee transfers. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is a wholly new function for CHC,Ã¢â‚¬Â noted Wyght.
The operations centre will consolidate crewing and maintenance planning, crew scheduling, technical support, global flight following, crisis communication, emergency response and other functions. It will also serve as a maintenance support hub, with original equipment manufacturers partnering with CHC to staff its technical support centre.
CHC expects to be in its new facility at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport by the end of April, and providing services to some of its worldwide divisions by the end of June. Ã¢â‚¬Å“That scope of service will continue to expand,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Wyght, noting that CHC expects the operations centre to be providing partial or complete services to all of CHCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s divisions by the end of 2012.