Author: Capt Nigel Harris | Date: 23 February 2015
FlyMontserrat has held a UK Air Operator Certificate (AOC) without break since May 2009. Along with all other Operators it receives regular audits by its Regulator as well as frequent external Independent quality audits. No audit has ever revealed any significant safety issue.
As part of our on-going process of building our Company we identified that the existing management needed enlarging and Chairman Nigel Harris announced at the annual shareholder’s meeting in January 2013 that he was coming up for retirement and would that year be implementing a succession programme. At the same time a Montserratian, Welsh Pond, was made a Director.
Any succession programme takes time to implement with identification of successors to various posts, a training programme and the approval of the Airline’s Regulator for identified post holdings. While Nigel continues to hold several of these posts, a programme of training is being conducted to bring on others into Management roles acceptable to the Regulator, providing continuity and strength to the team. FlyMontserrat is proud of the way it is undergoing this transition in a way which is improving the customer experience. It is denied that the Regulator threatened to revoke the Airline’s AOC and, in fact, has been enormously supportive of the succession plan and training programme.
At the time of the VP-MON accident, the aircraft fully complied with the relevant airworthiness authorities and manufacturer’s required airworthiness and modification status. The aircraft fully complied with a valid Certificate of Airworthiness and initial type certificate which is required for it to fly legally.
FlyMontserrat employs pilots mainly on six month renewable contracts. Most pilots elect to renew their contracts, but we recognise that pilots want to move on to bigger aircraft and see other parts of the world. Some of our pilots choose to renew their contracts time and time again but some progress onwards which is the natural progression that is normal within the aviation industry.
We have a requirement that pilots come to us ready trained initially with a minimum of 500 hours. In fact they all well exceed the minimum requirement from our Regulator and our Insurer with all in excess of 1,000 hours and two in excess of 10,000 hours. As important as the number of hours is their relevant experience flying the same type of aircraft and in the same type of conditions. All our current pilots have a minimum of 400 hours in command of the relevant aircraft type and all undergo initial and recurrent training which is checked by external Regulator-approved examiners.
We confirm and welcome the investment of the Montserrat Development Corporation in FlyMontserrat.