Antonio I. Cortés, Ph.D.
Director of Aviation Safety
Dr. Antonio Cortés has supported the Bombardier Safety Standdown since 2005 by performing presentations and teaching workshops. He also proudly served as the Chair of the Advisory Council for the Standdown.
His past presentations have covered pilot expectation bias, safety culture, hazard detection, risk measurement, safety management systems, enhancing individual and team performance, and aircraft ground icing.
Tony has 5,000 flight hours. His career started as a CFI for Causey Aviation in North Carolina. He flew the C-21A Learjet and C-141B in the U.S. Air Force and later was an MD-88 pilot for Midwest Airlines. For the past 23 years he has focused his efforts on accident prevention, first as a Flight Safety Officer in the Air Force, then working on aircraft wiring hazards for ALPA Safety, and since then as a safety manager, researcher, and educator in government, academia, and industry.
He has spent a significant part of his career at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), where he held faculty and academic leadership appointments as an Associate Professor, Department Chair, and Associate Dean. He directed the aviation School of Graduate Studies, created the aviation Virtual Reality Lab, and established the university’s Suborbital Space Flight Simulator. He oversaw doctoral research into safety challenges, such as pilot reaction to stall warnings in icing conditions, visual detection of drones, automatic ground collision avoidance systems, and assessments of interfaces with new flight deck automation. He also taught courses in safety management, crew resource management, accident investigation, and human factors.
For the past two years he was the Director of Safety for the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, where he supervised a team of 20 safety professionals developing and operating a multi-cultural SMS for the M90 SpaceJet flight test program. He is now a senior advisor for GMR Aviation Consulting, helping flight departments create safety leaders, develop risk management systems, and improve organizational cultures.
Tony has a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master's degree in Aeronautics from ERAU, and a Ph.D. in Management from Northcentral University with research into human error on the flight deck. His work has earned him the FAA Distinguished Service Award, the NASA Honor Award, the U.S. Air Force General Tunner Award, the ERAU Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Aeronautical Science Outstanding Performance Award. He co-authored the 6th Edition of Commercial Aviation Safety, which is a very popular university textbook.
This year at the Bombardier Safety Standdown, Dr. Cortés is discussing how flight department leaders can enhance the resilience of flight and maintenance processes against the ever-increasing presence of distractions.