Andrew Varley, immediate past BBBF Chairman and Regional Manager (South-East Asia), CAA International, was our first speaker on 13 April at the Rizqun Hotel where he gave members a fascinating and insightful talk on aviation security entitled “Safe by Design”. 

With 45 years’ experience in the aviation industry, Andrew was able to speak to his audience with a vast amount of knowledge and first-hand experience. Focussing in particular on the design and certification aspects of civil aviation, his essential message was that air travel has become safer by design. 

Taking the audience through a series of graphically illustrated ‘milestone events’ over the last 70 years, he showed where the aviation community had learnt and shared what had gone wrong, leading to improvements including better technologies, systems and procedures which have been adopted internationally. These include human performance issues which have led to further improvements including a culture of open reporting. 

Andrew also explained the vital role played by the current international aviation regulatory framework, which has improved design, testing and certification standards for aircraft worldwide. It has also ensured procedures for proper and regular maintenance of aircraft throughout their operational life as well as for continued airworthiness. 

The meeting concluded with an equally interesting Q&A session ranging from the effects of both volcano ash and bird-strikes on aircraft engines to the future of pilotless passenger aircraft. 

Our thanks go to Andrew for giving such an interesting and entertaining start to the year’s Speaker Events.