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A Successful First Summit in Dallas – 13th CHC Safety & Quality Summit a Texas-Sized Affair

Monday, October 9, 2017


Last month, nearly 500 aviation, oil and gas, insurance and safety professionals from nearly 30 countries gathered at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas for the 13th annual CHC Safety & Quality Summit. Since 2004, CHC has been committed to bringing the industry together for important discussions about raising the bar for safety in the aviation industry and the responses to this event continues to be strong.

This year’s theme was “Can we truly manage all of the risk? What if the barriers are not as robust as we think?” The goal was to challenge attendees to consider key issues such as how we manage risk today, potential complacency in our approaches, and limitations to how we currently assess all aspects of safety. Nearly 40 speakers delivered 80 sessions around this theme, urging everyone who attended to continue to look for new ways to improve our industry.

Prior to these sessions, the Summit opened with a welcome address by Karl Fessenden, which included the introduction of our new “Taking Care” safety campaign, followed by plenary presentations led by Dr. Stephen Carver of Cranfield University, UK, and Dr. Nicklas Dahlstrom, Human Factors Manager, Emirates Airlines, which led on to a moderated question and answer session with the speakers.

Capping off the opening day, John Foley, Organizational and Personal Development Expert, Lead Former Solo Pilot of the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels, delivered a keynote presentation that included a mix of stories and videos from his career as a member of the internationally renowned Blue Angels, as he shared insights into achieving high performance.

Throughout the Summit, delegates attended fully scheduled days of sessions from leading industry professionals covering a range of topics, from the latest safety updates from the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), structuring training programs for flight crews, accident investigation and many others. Many delegates and speakers were repeat participants, having been to the Summit on multiple occasions. However, CHC was fortunate to welcome a large number of new speakers and first-time Summit attendees this year, owing partially to the Summit’s new home in the Dallas area.

We also had the chance to recognize two outstanding students in our industry with scholarships that allowed them to trave and attend the Summit at no cost to them. Thanks to our generous sponsors, we were able to bring Matt Lum, a current student at the British Columbia Institute of Technology studying airport operations, and Nikola Randjelovic, a recent graduate of Seneca College in Ontario, Canada, where he studied aviation safety, to Dallas to join the conversation and share their thoughts around safety and our central theme.

While in a new location starting this year, the Summit drew hundreds of professionals looking to learn and gain new insights and perspectives into safety that they can take back and apply to their current organizations. With dates for next year already in-place (October 2-4, 2018), CHC looks forward to continuing to grow the Summit in its new location, drawing on new speakers and encouraging new attendees from across the aviation, energy and safety communities.

See below for opening remarks by Karl Fessenden, President and CEO, CHC Helicopter.