Quest: The heroes behind aviation’s safest year


Quest’s Profitable Moment

As a road warrior who spends many days in the air, I read with keen interest the surveys showing 2017 was the safest year on record for commercial aviation (defined as the world’s commercial airliners). Sadly, there were deaths on cargo flights and in private general aviation, but there were no crashes resulting in deaths on the world’s airlines.

This is in an achievement. It has only come about because of the enormous amount of hard work and investment in aviation that has ensured it remains the safest form of travel. (It’s a shame President Trump chose to try to take credit for this remarkable result when the true heroes are the men and women who toil to make flying safe).

So — on this first letter of the year — let me give a shout out to: the plane makers who build machines that withstand the forces of nature as we hurtle through the air; the mechanics and engineers who maintain these flying machines in peak condition; the pilots and their instructors who ensure the highest levels of qualifications and — not least nor last — the air traffic controllers who manage the ever-increasing number of planes in the skies.

Make no mistake — this level of safety hasn’t happened by accident. It is the result of a laser focused obsession by an industry that knows the perils of getting it wrong.

I flew more than 250,000 miles in 2017, and expect to do a similar amount this year. To all who keep us safe: Thank you.

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