Jet Linx grounds its fleet...for a Safety Summit

By Doug Gollan, June 12, 2019

The 3rd annual event brings together the private jet management and jet card provider’s over 500 employees to focus on safety

Jet Linx Aviation is grounding its fleet of over 100 private jets for a day once again as part of its third annual safety summit. By dedicating the entire day to advancing its rigorous safety standards the Omaha-based business aviation operator looks to highlight its focus on the subject.

The company claims to be the only air carrier in the United States to voluntarily halt operations for this type of event. The focus of the Safety Summit this year is safety culture, safety management, and how to identify potential hazards.  The day includes a special keynote session from Jim Hall, former National Transportation Safety Board chairman, on organizational contributing factors in aviation safety.

Private jet safety

“Since the inception of Jet Linx 20 years ago, safety has been the cornerstone of our company. Our annual Safety Summit allows us to continue advancing best safety practices and standards of excellence across the entire organization,” said Jamie Walker, President & CEO of Jet Linx. “As a leader in the industry, it is our responsibility to hold ourselves accountable and further the highest safety standards. We are proud to invest considerable time, energy and financial resources in order to deliver our aircraft owners and Jet Cardmembers with the confidence that they are flying with the industry’s best.”

“Jet Linx has taken all the right steps in setting the precedent of making safety the number one priority. While there is no perfect way to implement a safety management system, Jet Linx is moving in the right direction, and perhaps most importantly, calling on others to do the same,” said Hall. “For Jet Linx to reach out and encourage the prioritization of passenger and employee safety at the highest level in their effort to improve operations across this industry is impressive.”

New safety executive hired from United Airlines

The Safety Summit is co-led this year by Sheryl Clarke, Jet Linx’s newly appointed Director of Safety & Security, who is responsible for leading the Safety Department and the continued enhancement of Jet Linx’s safety programs to ensure that every measure is taken to meet and exceed government regulations.

Clarke joins Jet Linx from United Airlines, where she was managing director of Airport Operations Safety and Compliance, managing all safety efforts for the 337 airports served by the airline.

As a rated Airline Transport Pilot, B-707, B-720 and EMB-145, and a United States Air Force (USAF) Academy graduate, Clarke has logged 7,500 Pilot-in-Command (PIC) hours commercially and 1,800 PIC hours in the USAF, with additional certifications from the NTSB, Department of Transportation (DOT), Safety Management Systems (SMS) and Human Factors Analysis (HFACS).

“I am thrilled to be joining Jet Linx at such a significant moment to help the company continue to transform the private aviation industry,” said Clarke. “Jet Linx has managed to pursue a nationwide expansion while demonstrating an unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety of their clients, pilots, and team. I am proud to be working with Jet Linx to continue to drive the industry standards for safety and security.”

Jet Linx is one of the about two dozen operators worldwide that hold the trifecta of top ratings from Argus, Wyvern, and IS-BAO.

Safety concerns

Safety has been in the news this year in private aviation. First, there was the death of European soccer star Sala which shined the light on illegal charters. At the same time, the NTSB report on a Learjet crash at Teterboro highlighted holes in the operator’s safety and management systems.

The $10 million funding of Blackbird, an app that is promising to uberize private aviation, highlighted its opaque approach of selling what in essence is a Part 91 dry lease, including the operational responsibility it entails. We exclusively reviewed the Blackbird contracts with an aviation attorney looking at terms you will likely never see, but are agreeing to by clicking on the buy button.

Jet Linx expansion

The company is continuing to re-enforce its Midwestern stronghold with new locations in Chicago and Austin while becoming a major player on the East Coast by adding New York and Boston to locations in Washington D.C. and Atlanta. A future location in Minneapolis is in the works after acquiring the management business from Elliott Aviation. Plans are to add bases in Florida and California, possibly by acquisition.

The pay-as-you-go jet card program offers both members and aircraft management owners private lounges at each base which includes an open bar stocked to your preference plus complimentary snacks. Customers drop off their car before their flight, and while they are away, it’s detailed and returned to them on their arrival with climate controls adjusted for current weather conditions.

Compare over 50 jet card providers by more than 65 variables, including safety ratings, here.

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