Aircraft safety inspections are now being performed, almost in their entirety, virtually, however the online process does not necessarily make the job any easier, Len Cormier told the CJI Global 2020 conference.
Cormier, safety oversight consultant, Bermuda Aircraft Registry, said: “It sounds like that would save us a lot of time but it’s quite intensive because we are requiring the operators to send us a lot of documentation. We have still got to go out eventually and catch up on the onsite [work].”
Nonetheless, Cormier expects that Bermuda Aircraft Registry will end up altering its processes to include the positive aspects of the virtual inspection programme.
As regulators move towards a “more performance-based oversight programme” Cormier said it is possible to argue that a virtual programme supports that shift. “[This is] because it gives you a good idea of what’s happening. In aviation it’s the systems that keep the aircraft safe and if the system’s working, then we have a good comfort level around safety.”
Another factor which has enabled Bermuda Aircraft Registry to weather the Covid-19 storm is its international bases. It has a large office in Moscow and a smaller operation in Shanghai. Now Russia is beginning to open again, Cormier said inspectors are able to work once more. Whilst in China, it is nearly impossible to exit and enter China the country without quarantine. However, the registry’s inspector in Shanghai can move around the country freely.
Cormier said he is relatively optimistic for the next 12 months: “If you look at China, it is leading Europe and arguably the rest of the world by about three months. The domestic fleet is back to 90%, which is quite unbelievable. You wouldn’t have said that back in February. China has a large domestic market, about 80% of their operations are domestic, but it’s quite amazing to see the recovery there.”