|Coastal Aviation Travel Trade Statement
As promised, I would like to update you on what steps Coastal Aviation is taking in the short term to ensure the safety of our passengers.
As you can imagine, the last few days have been exceedingly busy. We have made decisions as a result of intense internal discussion, but also from looking at the comments we have received from you, our stakeholders. I would like to thank you all for your input and support.
With all of this in mind we have taken a long and hard look at our existing operations aircrew and split the crew into two distinct groups based on experience.
Effective immediately to be classified as an experienced Coastal Captain, you must have in excess of 3000 hours of accident free total flying time (approximately 5 years as a commercial pilot) with in excess of 1000 hours of Pilot in Command of an aircraft in single pilot operations in remote and challenging terrain, with a minimum of 500 of these hours in Tanzania. This group will be the only pilots allowed to fly on their own and will be subject to a full operational route safety check every 2 months to ensure that they are following the rules, (also called our Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Normally these checks are every 6 months.
The remaining group of pilots will fly with a Coastal-employed Safety Pilot on board. The Safety Pilot’s responsibility will be to assist the Captain in a variety of tasks, but primarily to assist with adherence to SOPs and Checklists for everyone’s safety. By extension, this also means a better guest experience.
We have already implemented these changes in our Serengeti Operations and will be implementing the changes across our network this week.
The plan will evolve as we progress. I can assure you it will only evolve in the direction of even greater safety.
There are many other factors and areas we will get the chance to address with time; however, for now, I do not wish to interfere with any third party government investigations.
That being said, we will be commissioning an aviation industry recognized, independent audit team to conduct a full top-down review of our company. We are fully committed to restructuring our operations as to the recommendations that arise out of this process and the current investigations.
These new procedures will have a major effect on the amount of flights we can offer, across our network. Nothing is more important than the safety of our guests. We are fully committed first and foremost to providing safe aviation services and as such, that shall be our first consideration.
We will try, where ever possible to keep the network integrity, but we may need to significantly reduce the capacity we can offer. This may affect some of the bookings that you have made with us. We are working hard to limit the inconvenience of these changes, but we know you understand – our primary motivation will be safety.
I will report back early next week with an update on our restructuring process and to keep you in the overall picture of how our changes are being implemented.
In the meantime, I am available to discuss any and all of this, at any time.
Thank you once again. Your support has been amazing.