By Tariq Lynch-Wade, Flight Operations Inspector, Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority
The Bermuda Aircraft Registry's only AOC holder, Longtail Aviation, added its first B747-400F Freighter to their fleet in the middle of a global pandemic. The addition of this aircraft to the Registry tested the ability and adaptability of the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority's (BCAA) Safety Oversight Management System (SOMS). Through the first quarter of this year, the team were faced with a series of challenges and roadblocks caused by the COVID-19 virus. Flight Operations Inspector, Tariq Lynch-Wade, explains further:
"Due to the demand for cargo aircraft to assist with the global supply chain of medical supplies and equipment during COVID-19, the original plan to add this aircraft to the fleet was expedited to enable Longtail to start service sooner. We were challenged in both timing and in logistics, and it was quite a feat and an accomplishment to get the aircraft approved for the registry in three short months.
In March, all BCAA technical staff were mandated to work from home, which meant that we relied heavily upon desktop reviews and numerous virtual meetings in order to get the job done. Travel restrictions were also put in place by the Bermuda government and the airport was closed on March 20th (in-line with many other governments worldwide).
The approval process involved liaising with not only the operator but also their proposed contracted service providers, who were also working remotely. The pandemic tested our ability to utilize risk-based oversight throughout the entire process, and the BCAA conducted internal risk assessments simultaneously while the operator was engaged in their own Change Management process.
Nevertheless, BCAA maintained its rigorous approval standard and all regulatory compliance was achieved. It was through innovative procedures, advanced technological communications and the cooperation of all parties that this was achieved.
Upon reflection, it was a rare opportunity to demonstrate that international compliance can be met when working with competent professionals even while being confined to your home. The certifying of the Boeing 747-400F amid this unprecedented era is a true testament to the effectiveness of Risk-based regulatory oversight. Its maiden voyage has already allowed the aircraft to conduct operations within various international ports."
As Flight Operations Inspector, Tariq Lynch-Wade is responsible for the regulatory oversight of Bermuda’s AOC Holder (Longtail Aviation) and Private aircraft registered with BCAA. Tariq liaises with operators based all over the world, from Asia-Pacific Countries to Africa and North America. As part of his succession planning and career development with BCAA, Tariq recently returned from flying as First Officer with Hong Kong Airlines.