A Culture of Safety

Over the past two years, RavnAir Group, with solid backing from its majority owner J.F. Lehman & Co., has invested heavily in dramatically enhancing safety at its two certificated airlines: RavnAir Alaska (an FAA Part 121 carrier operating ten DHC-8 aircraft [“Dash 8”]) and RavnAir Connect (an FAA Part 135 carrier operating fifty-eight B1900, PA-31, C208 and C207 aircraft). With the addition of PenAir (an FAA Part 121 carrier operating five Saab 2000 aircraft) to the Ravn Air Group family, that investment has grown even larger.

To date, the airline and its owners have invested over $7 million in actions and initiatives  targeted at improving safety at Alaska’s largest regional carrier. This investment in safety has not only allowed the Air Group’s new management team and employees throughout all three airlines to create and implement new safety programs and initiatives that are generally only found at much larger carriers, the investment has enabled both companies to receive national and international recognition for first-ever safety certifications – certifications that no other regional airline in Alaska, and in some cases the U.S. has ever accomplished.  These accomplishments have received high praise from local FAA and NTSB officials.  PenAir was not an IOSA-certified airline when it was acquired by Ravn in December 2018, but it is being brought up to IOSA standards as part of its FAA certificate merger process with RavnAir Alaska. The two airlines will merge their certificates as well as their safety and operational standards in May 2020.

Highlights & Milestones

Since September 2017, an all-new management team at RavnAir Group has dramatically changed the way Ravn operates all of its airlines to ensure that safety is not only the highest priority, it is a way of life. The cornerstone of the company’s renewed focus and dramatic enhancement of safety is its new “Get, Safe, Go” safety program and philosophy which not only encourages enhanced safety and compliance reporting and measurement against key safety metrics, it also enables and rewards employees who “stop the operation” when they see or become aware of any issue that may pose a safety risk to: our passengers, employees, aircraft, or other company or non-company property.

In addition to the new “Get, Safe, Go” safety program at Ravn, the company has also implemented a number of voluntary, industry-leading safety programs that have further enhanced safety and operational excellence.

  • FAA Approved – Safety Management System (SMS)

SMS became mandatory for all Part 121 airlines in the U.S. in early 2018, and RavnAir Alaska and PenAir both worked for over a year to beat that deadline and become FAA approved SMS carriers before the due date. In addition, while SMS is not required for Part 135 airlines, RavnAir Connect is already in the process of seeking FAA approval and implementing this same program.
» SMS Safety Policy

  • Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)

ADS-B is the cornerstone of the new FAA NextGen air traffic modernization program, and all aircraft operating in airspace that currently requires a Mode C transponder must be equipped with this new position reporting broadcast capability by January 1, 2020. All aircraft at RavnAir Alaska, PenAir, and RavnAir Connect now have this equipment.

  • International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operations & Safety Audit (IOSA)

IOSA is the gold standard for safety among all major international airlines because it is a blend of industry-best safety practices, as well as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulatory standards. Because of the many standards, policies, and practices that must be adopted and implemented, accreditation is generally only achieved by major international airlines, and a few very large regional carriers. In 2017, however, RavnAir Alaska voluntarily began work to become an IOSA-certified airline, and in August of 2018, the airline became the first regional airline in Alaska to pass this difficult operations and safety audit. Ravn just passed its second annual IOSA audit with flying colors and high accolades from safety auditors in March of 2020. In addition, in early 2019, RavnAir Connect became the first Part 135 carrier in the U.S. to accomplish a similar safety audit for smaller regional airlines. PenAir was not an IOSA-certified airline when it was acquired by Ravn in December 2018, but it is being brought up to IOSA standards as part of its FAA certificate merger process with RavnAir Alaska. The two airlines will merge their certificates as well as their safety and operational standards in May 2020.

  • Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)

In cooperation with the FAA, RavnAir Alaska, PenAir, and RavnAir Connect have for more than five years maintained active and functioning ASAP programs for Flight Crews, Cabin Crews, Dispatchers, Maintainers, and Ground Crews. This voluntary, self-reporting program is designed to identify and reduce possible safety concerns and issues. It is a key part of the risk assessment and risk management programs at all three airlines.

  • Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA)

FOQA, also known as flight data monitoring, is a method of capturing, analyzing and/or visualizing flight data generated by an aircraft. While this FAA-approved program is voluntary, information obtained from this analysis allows airlines to find new ways to improve flight safety and increase overall operational efficiency. RavnAir Alaska has had a FOQA program on its Dash 8 aircraft since 2014. In 2019, RavnAirConnect’s became the first Part 135 airline in the U.S. to install FOQA on its fleet of almost sixty aircraft. PenAir installed FOQA on its fleet in early 2020.

  • Line Operational Safety Audit (LOSA)

LOSA is another voluntary safety program that uses flight deck observations by independent safety auditors to assess flight operations safety and help enhance organizational strategies aimed at eliminating human error and developing countermeasures to errors in an operational environment. Very few regional carriers have ever accomplished a LOSA, but RavnAir Alaska is undergoing its second LOSA evaluation in 2019, and RavnAir Connect will be the first Part 135 operator in the U.S. to complete a LOSA audit in 2020.  PenAir underwent a LOSA assessment in 2017, and it will receive its next audit in 2020.