Safety Standdown and the Role of Engagement

By David S. Ryan – March 2024

David S Ryan holding the Safety Award

Bombardier’s annual Safety Standdown has become one of the industry’s “must attend” events every year – and a key reason is based around the premise of “engagement.” This invaluable safety seminar brings together aviation professionals from all parts of our industry and offers the opportunity to network and learn.

There are numerous opportunities to engage with like-minded professionals, including participation in an industry committee or supporting a regional/local aviation association. In my experience, I have found aviation professionals participate in industry events or committees for several reasons.

One is personal development, through building project skills, experiencing team dynamics, or simply to better develop presentation and speaking skills. Networking is also a driver for many professionals to meet like-minded colleagues. Another reason might be to learn a new topic and apply it to their specific discipline.

In my experience, I believe the main reason aviation professionals choose to participate in Safety Standdown is to make a difference and give back to the industry. The selflessness I have witnessed in my career has been unbelievable from aviation professionals, who seem to be openly active in willing to share best practices or lessons they have experienced in their careers. Overall, this is how we will get better at what we do.

Building on the mantra, “Learn Apply Share”, Safety Standdown provides an invaluable opportunity to engage with industry peers. Follow the example of all the past Bombardier Safety Standdown Safety Award recipients, as they all have exemplified the mastery of engagement. Leveraging their many points of networking and expertise, these individuals have made a marked difference in our industry. I was extremely honored to be the 2023 recipient of this award, and I am confident that this recognition was a direct result of the decision early in my career to engage with my industry colleagues. I have certainly benefited and learned from my mentors and industry peers and am thankful for these opportunities.

I encourage all aviation professionals to engage in all opportunities possible at this event. If you want to participate and immerse yourself in everything safety, please attend Bombardier Safety Standdown in November. See you there!

David S. Ryan, MS CISM

David S. Ryan, MS CISM

Assistant Professor
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Executive Director
Robertson Safety Institute
Dept. of Safety Sciences
College of Aviation