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Inaugural IATA World Safety and Operations Conference takes place in Hanoi


Hosted by Vietnam Airlines, the WSOC gathers industry leaders to scrutinize aviation safety protocols, featuring the launch of the IATA Safety Leadership Charter to bolster safety culture.

HANOI, VIETNAM – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the inaugural World Safety and Operations Conference (WSOC) began yesterday in Hanoi, Vietnam under the theme ”Leadership in Action: Driving Safer and More Efficient Operations.” Vietnam Airlines is the host carrier for the WSOC, which is the industry’s premier gathering to examine all aspects of safety, including flight operations, cabin operations, and emergency response. It is the first time that IATA has held a safety conference in Vietnam.

Opening speeches are being delivered by:

  • Mr. Tran Luu Quang, Deputy Prime Minister, Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  • Mr. Nguyen Van Thang, Vietnam Ministry of Transport, and
  • Mr. Dang Ngoc Hoa, Chairman of Vietnam Airlines.

Safety is aviation’s highest priority, and this is reflected in the high levels of government participation and the fact that over 550 safety professionals from approximately 100 airlines, aviation regulators, aircraft manufacturers, and other safety stakeholders are in attendance. With its location in the heart of Asia and strong economic growth, Vietnam provides an ideal venue for the WSOC. We’re excited to have Vietnam Airlines, which has a growing route network connecting the region and the globe, as our host airline,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Safety is at the core of every airline. As Vietnam’s national airline, Vietnam Airlines has always remained committed to our vision, mission and core values as a responsible airline group. We are pleased to welcome the global safety community to Hanoi to share insights, expand knowledge and together transform for the safer aviation industry,” said Vietnam Airlines President and CEO Le Hong Ha, who is participating on the CEO panel, along with Philippine Airlines President and COO Stanley K. Ng and Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior VP, Operations, Safety and Security.

IATA announces First Safety Leadership Charter signatories

Safety leaders from more than 20 airlines are the first signatories:

  • Air Canada
  • Air India
  • Air Serbia
  • ANA
  • British Airways
  • Carpatair
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Emirates Airline
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • EVA Airways
  • Garuda Indonesia Airlines
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Pegasus Airlines
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Qantas Group
  • Qatar Airways
  • United Airlines
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Xiamen Airlines

The Safety Leadership Charter is aimed at strengthening organizational safety culture through commitment to eight key safety leadership guiding principles. It was developed in consultation with IATA members and the wider aviation community to support industry executives in evolving a positive safety culture within their organizations.

Leadership matters. It’s the strongest factor affecting safety behavior. By signing up to the IATA Safety Leadership Charter, these industry leaders are visibly demonstrating their commitment to the criticality of safety culture within their own airlines and the need to continuously build on the work that has gone before,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Safety Leadership Guiding Principles include:

  • Leading the obligation to safety through both words and actions.
  • Fostering safety awareness among employees, the leadership team, and the board.
  • Creating an atmosphere of trust, where all employees feel responsible for safety and are encouraged and expected to report safety-related information.
  • Guiding the integration of safety into business strategies, processes, and performance measures and creating the internal capacity to manage and achieve organizational safety goals.
  • Regularly assessing and improving organizational Safety Culture.

Commercial aviation has benefited from over 100 years of safety advances that inspires us to raise the bar even higher. The commitment and drive by aviation’s leaders for continuous improvement on safety is a longstanding pillar of commercial aviation that has made flying the safest form of long-distance travel. Signing this charter honors the achievements that should give everyone the highest confidence when flying and sets a powerful and timely reminder that we can never be complacent on safety,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior VP Operations, Safety and Security.

Value of Aviation to Vietnam

Aviation makes a major contribution to Vietnam’s economic well-being. Based on 2019 (pre-pandemic) data, it contributed US $11.7 billion to the country’s GDP including the spending of foreign tourists arriving by air, representing 5.5% of GDP. In total 2.5 million jobs including tourism-related jobs were supported by aviation according to Aviation Benefits Beyond Borders.

Agenda for safety

Ηigh on the agenda is the ongoing transition of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which turns 20 this month, towards a risk-based model under which audits will be tailored to each airline’s risk profile.

Other sessions will review the need for prompt and thorough state accident investigation reports to help improve safety. Runway safety, unruly passengers, cabin crew health and well-being, and pilot training are also on the program.

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Student at the Department of Business Administration of the Athens University of Economics and Business.