NBAA Provides Support For Leaders of Small Flight Departments


It’s not well known, but the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) reports that 80% of its members are classed as “small operators,” meaning they operate a fleet of three aircraft of fewer. For a dedicated business aviation staff, that can mean that pilots, aviation managers and maintenance personnel can be put in the position of filling multiple roles.

To support these members, NBAA’s Small Flight Department Subcommittee has developed a three-part webinar leadership series called the Small Operator Learning Series. It includes online courses and webinars geared to help leaders of small flight departments deal with day-to-day issues. The course offerings also provide guidance for new managers in overseeing their operations.

K.K. Harvey, the co-chair of NBAA’s Small Flight Subcommittee (and director of flight operations for Vermont-based real estate management firm Lionheart Holdings) developed the Learning Series along with co-chair John Foster. Harvey said, “Aviation chief pilots, operations managers, and department heads are often promoted into leadership positions with little or no training. They are not given the opportunity for, nor may they have time for, specific leadership training and education. They are promoted because of the duration of their tenure and not specifically for their leadership ability. They also might not have a mentor to [serve as a] role model, either. So, they are often flying by the seat of their pants.”

Each webinar in the three-part 2024 version of the leadership series features experienced pilots, flight department leaders and industry experts who are on board to provide their knowledge and experience. The webinars are free to NBAA members.

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.