Among business-jet companies, safety has different meanings

In recent studies, safety has always been the top priority of business-jet travelers. But recent data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggest that not all Part 135 carriers, defined as aircraft for hire that carry 10 passengers or fewer, have the same considerations for safety.

According to a recent NTSB study, “corporate” flights flown by a two-person professional crew have lower accident rates than commercial airlines. The U.S. agency’s data for what it designates the “business” category, or flights not requiring a two-person professional crew, actually exceed the accident rates for commercial air carriers.

These statistics have prompted leading business-aviation providers to develop multilayered safety infrastructures that are much more sophisticated than those of smaller charter operators with one or two aircraft. Some have adopted the best practices of commercial airliners, the military, or NASA.

XOJET, the country’s third-largest private-aviation firm, has invested heavily in its safety and operational infrastructures since it started in 2006. “We realized at the outset that safety would distinguish us from most competitors,” says Bradley Stewart, CEO of XOJET. “We knew we had to develop the most aggressive safety standards in private aviation, equaling and even surpassing the industry’s best practices.”

XOJET, the country’s third-largest private-aviation firm, has invested heavily in its safety and operational infrastructures since it started in 2006. “We realized at the outset that safety would distinguish us from most competitors,” says Bradley Stewart, CEO of XOJET. “We knew we had to develop the most aggressive safety standards in private aviation, equaling and even surpassing the industry’s best practices.”

“We developed our proprietary XOPS processes based on the multidimensional risk-assessment processes of the U.S. Air Force,” says Stewart. “We take all information about the flight into account, and each flight requires a sign-off from multiple personnel in our organization. We won’t fly if there is any doubt about safety.”

Because XOJET owns its jets, it has developed maintenance procedures that are in-depth and routinely scheduled. “Fleet ownership lets us have an extra layer of safety and accountability that other competitors may not have,” says Stewart.

XOJET’s highly experienced captains, who average more than 7,500 flight hours are type-certified on their specific aircraft, with two FAA-recognized captains in the cockpit. The company requires each new hire to undergo 300 hours of customized training on flight simulators, with an additional 150 hours each year.

“Our flight crews also have iPad-based electronic flight bags that allow them to stay in real-time communications with our flight operations team,” says Stewart. “We want to have an edge whenever it comes to safety.”

 

XOJET, 650.676.4700, www.xojet.comAdvertisement