By William Bartholomae, Planet 9 Safety Manager
With the rising demand of private jet travel in our current context of strict safety tolerances, the standards to which operators hold themselves is becoming increasingly and appropriately more important. Planet 9 is no exception.
Since flight operations began in July of 2018, Planet Nine has ‘tallied up’ some tremendous accomplishments. From doubling our workforce to expanding our charter operation to 5 Falcon 7X, Gulfstream G550/G650 and a Global 5000, to say it has been a successful year and a half is an understatement. However these successes are not by chance. Every day the Planet Nine team is working carefully behind the scenes to ensure our passengers arrive at their destination with uncompromising safety and service, each and every flight. When reflecting on how this overarching goal is achieved, it becomes clear that resources, tools and technology have been vital. Yet we consistently arrive back to a single hallmark value underpinning these accomplishments — the Planet Nine family. From managers to frontline employees, there’s no doubt that our people is our secret to success.
The Right Tools
Consistently safe and successful execution of Ultra-Long Range business aviation travel takes meticulous planning and significant resources to accomplish. Planet Nine has invested a tremendous amount of resources across all departments to ensure the company is armed with the best tools to get the job done. In the safety department specifically, we’ve implemented industry leading organizational safety strategies, culture initiatives and state-of-the-art risk management software for holistic safety management. This includes the recent addition Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) flight data monitoring — a significant and important safety investment. Our continued pursuit for excellence has culminated in the successful passing of Wyvern Wingman, ARGUS Platinum, Executive Jet Management and IS-BAO safety ratings in just over a year. Our future safety initiatives will transform the department to align closer to a Part 121 air carrier, rather than a traditional private jet charter and managed aircraft provider. However even with the best tools, technology and safety ratings, it’s the individuals themselves that have the most impact on safety.
The Right People
All departments must be working in harmony to effectively orchestrate the ever-changing dynamics between maintenance, operations, sales, flight crew, passenger requirements and many other factors that affect safe flight operations. Achieving this harmony all comes back to the ‘person at the controls.’ This is why we spend a significant amount of resources to hire beyond exceptional qualifications and focus intently on learning what makes a person want to show up to work. Although qualifications are clearly important, we’ve found that positive attitudes, a passion for aviation, and a teamwork mindset are crucial values that serve as key ingredients for holistic success. The importance of finding the right fit to match our values stretch far beyond customer service and deeply into the realm of safety. From a service perspective, customers reap the benefits of enthusiastic flight crews passionate about their jobs and customer service. From a safety perspective, professional and engaged employees make better decisions. Therefore safety ultimately becomes a byproduct of professionalism. If you’ve had a chance to meet a member of the Planet Nine team, I’m sure you’ve noticed the difference.
Just Getting Started
For the many years to come, we’ll continue to focus on our safety philosophy — the relentless pursuit of excellence built on a foundation of risk management, leveraging a non-retributive safety culture achieved through trust and communication. We will continue to hire amazing employees, arm them with quality resources to perform their jobs, and empower them to make good decisions rooted in safety. To the Planet Nine family, thank you for your continued dedication to safety and service!