Ravenair

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Ravenair's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Ravenair is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.ravenair.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | RAVENAIR
Managing Director Jeff Nuttall
Maintenance and
hangarage facility
Although it began life as a flying school in the 1980s,
Ravenair has diversified over more than 35 years to offer a
variety of general and business aviation services, including
management, chartering and engineering. Since 2002, the firm
has operated from a business aviation centre at Liverpool John
Lennon airport. Managing Director Jeff Nuttall – who has been
with Ravenair since day one – tells
The Parliamentary Review
why
he decided to start his own flying school.
Our origins lie in the demise of the flying school at Manchester Airport, where I had
been the chief flying instructor. After the school shut down, I continued my career
as an airline pilot, initially becoming a first officer. However, a number of former
students, who had been left with part-completed private pilot licences, petitioned
me for help to complete their courses.
I decided to start my own flying school and hired instructors to continue the
training. Expansion rapidly followed, with Ravenair moving into advanced flight
training, such as commercial licences, instrument ratings and flight instructor
courses, and acquiring more complex aircraft for that purpose.
Expansion and development
The next stage of expansion involved gaining an air operator certificate to permit
public transport of fare-paying passengers, cargo and mail. Due to the limited number
of domestic scheduled routes, this was a successful endeavour, assisted by offering
services to other airlines such as the carriage of spare parts for stranded “aircraft
on ground” from our Manchester maintenance bases to their groundedlocations.
FACTS ABOUT
RAVENAIR
»Managing Director: Jeff Nuttall
»Established in 1981
»Based in Liverpool
»Services: General and business
aviation
»No. of employees: 67
Ravenair
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | RAVENAIR
Managing Director Jeff Nuttall
Maintenance and
hangarage facility
Although it began life as a flying school in the 1980s,
Ravenair has diversified over more than 35 years to offer a
variety of general and business aviation services, including
management, chartering and engineering. Since 2002, the firm
has operated from a business aviation centre at Liverpool John
Lennon airport. Managing Director Jeff Nuttall – who has been
with Ravenair since day one – tells
The Parliamentary Review
why
he decided to start his own flying school.
Our origins lie in the demise of the flying school at Manchester Airport, where I had
been the chief flying instructor. After the school shut down, I continued my career
as an airline pilot, initially becoming a first officer. However, a number of former
students, who had been left with part-completed private pilot licences, petitioned
me for help to complete their courses.
I decided to start my own flying school and hired instructors to continue the
training. Expansion rapidly followed, with Ravenair moving into advanced flight
training, such as commercial licences, instrument ratings and flight instructor
courses, and acquiring more complex aircraft for that purpose.
Expansion and development
The next stage of expansion involved gaining an air operator certificate to permit
public transport of fare-paying passengers, cargo and mail. Due to the limited number
of domestic scheduled routes, this was a successful endeavour, assisted by offering
services to other airlines such as the carriage of spare parts for stranded “aircraft
on ground” from our Manchester maintenance bases to their groundedlocations.
FACTS ABOUT
RAVENAIR
»Managing Director: Jeff Nuttall
»Established in 1981
»Based in Liverpool
»Services: General and business
aviation
»No. of employees: 67
Ravenair
31RAVENAIR |
BUSINESS SERVICES
Theincrease in transplant surgery led
to the carriage of human organs on a
regular basis.
While all of these historic activities
continue to take place, the development
of UK domestic routes and competition
in other areas has led us to invest in and
develop our survey activity, assisting
global partners to survey and map the
UK and European locations for various
environmental, security, health and
safety and leisure markets. This now
forms the majority of our activity.
Maintaining close control
Our ethos has always been to control,
as much as possible, our access to
resources and the maintenance of
our standards through the ownership
and the development of our own
capabilities, rather than leasing and
subcontracting. Therefore, we own our
hangars, aircraft and equipment.
We have our own approved training
organisation for pilot training, including
a simulator, and our own approved
aircraft maintenance facility. We
control our own refuelling and aircraft
handling operation at our current base
at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, act
as lead tenant on behalf of the airport,
and employ tanker drivers, under a
management contract, for the main
refuelling operation at theairport.
A strict adherence to regulation
Required practice is set within EU
aviation regulation, and within that the
regulated organisation must publish
a safety policy that commits it to
adopting best practice. The competitive
nature of the aviation industry, and
relative lack of data at the general
aviation end of the market, means
that a small GA operation can find it
difficult to benchmark itself.
Understanding this, we attend industry
and client-led conferences, as well
as those supported by our national
aviation authority, the Civil Aviation
Authority, to ensure we do not fall
behind in our understanding of
industry developments.
While we could be described as small in
terms of aviation regulation, we choose
to apply safety regulations in full,
which includes all of the management
system requirements set by the EU. A
management system is the marriage of
SMS with compliance monitoring.
In line with our ethos of being in
control of our own standards, we
complete as much training and testing
as possible, in-house, using our
own ATO. We also develop our own
instructors and examiners, as well as
our engineers, and have designed our
own Crew Resource Management and
Maintenance Human Factors courses.
Again, in line with our ethos of
retaining control of standards,
accuracy, compliance and relevance,
and to provide us with the necessary
flexibility and knowledge to respond
quickly to change, we have developed
our own in-house use of technology
and simple programming to reduce
training workload in terms of
computer-based training with “self-
marking” quizzes. We also use similar
technology to track pilot hours, giving
daily feedback to pilots to ensure they
are aware of any limitations for the
following days.
Aircraft handling
capability
Our ethos has
always been to
control access to
resources and
the maintenance
of our standards
through the
ownership and
the
development of
our own
capabilities.
Therefore, we
own our
hangars, aircraft
and equipment
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | RAVENAIR
Getting our voice heard
As a small organisation, with limited
lobbying power, we struggle to get
our voice heard and action taken
in areas of safety enforcement and
regulatory compliance. The whole
regulatory structure is based on safety,
proportionality, fairness and protection
of the European market. In fact, one
of the most frequently EU quoted
drivers for regulatory change is a “level
playing field”, but this is devalued if
unfair competition is not tackled.
Recruitment and retention issues have
become industry-recognised features.
While there may be budding pilots
willing to pay, or have parents willing
to pay, the large sums necessary to
become qualified, many of these
candidates will go directly to a major
airline once they are licensed, and in
fact, the new multi-crew pilot licence
qualification means we would be
unable to recruit them for our single
pilot aircraft in any event.
In turn, the reduction in available pilots
in this sector also affects the number
of flight instructors, as
ab initio
pilots exiting flight schools offering
“integrated” or MPL courses directly
into airlines reduces the number of
pilots becoming flight instructors,
because these newly qualified pilots no
longer need to “hours build” before
they can progress through professional
licence training and application to
anairline.
As the organisation is small, but carries
out regulated activities on a broad
front, the rate of regulatory change is
a distinct burden, exacerbated by the
fact that once it disappears into the EU
parliament for scrutiny, we never know
when it will emerge as regulation,
reducing our ability to make firm plans
for the necessary changes.
Adapting for the future
We continue to monitor industry
and sector developments keenly. The
increasing use of drones may change
the survey market, especially when
they are able to offer the load-carrying
capacity and endurance of aircraft, at
lower cost.
We have already embarked on a
project to move into a new sector
recently permitted by regulation, which
is the use of single-engine turbine
aircraft for commercial carriage of fare-
paying passengers, cargo and mail.
We are developing theoretical pilot
licence instruction with a partner, in
order to close the differences that exist
between our practical courses and
those offered by integrated schools.
As the
organisation is
small, but
carries out
regulated
activities on a
broad front,
the rate of
regulatory
change is a
distinct
burden
Left: Survey aircraft on task
Right: Flight training –
coming in to land

www.ravenair.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Ravenair. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development