If It Ain’t Broke….


Among the more amazing things about an air show are the immense number of tasks and sub-tasks that must be completed for the event to take place safely, entertainingly, profitably and according to plan.  

And, because there are so many different things to do, it often makes sense to develop a workable program and process and then, once we’re sure it is working as it should, leave it alone…use it again and again, year after year. 

If you’ve got a strong ticketing procedure or a good plan for the survivor party or a hotel that works well, why change? It worked last year. We have a lot of things to do this year. Let’s not change something that doesn’t appear to be broken. 

But, on safety-related matters, the sometimes overwhelming “to do” list should not prevent us from continuously improving.  

As the 2016 air show season hits full stride, many of you will be looking at your safety programs and thinking, “If it ain’t broke, let’s not fix it.” 

But a thoughtful analysis of and refinements to your safety programming may make them better, more efficient or more likely to identify hazards and mitigate risk. Every year, the air show community identifies new tools, tactics and approaches that might improve safety, mitigate risk or reduce the likelihood of an accident or incident. And, even if you don’t change anything, a thorough review will re-familiarize you and the rest of your team with the details, make your plans and processes more immediate and familiar, and – perhaps – help you to implement the details of a safety program or emergency response plan more effectively. 

It is difficult to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of safety programs that are only executed when an incident or accident occurs. And, thankfully, this seldom happens. So it’s easy to become complacent or satisfied that we’re doing all that is necessary. We encourage you to fight that complacency by making your safety and emergency response program the one thing that is challenged, refined, improved and re-invented every year.

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The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) is a trade association dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant air show industry to support its membership. To achieve this goal, ICAS demands its members operate their air show business at only the highest levels of safety, professionalism, and integrity.