Despite the industry's already impressive and constantly improving safety record, some passengers understandably have concerns about the safety of private jet travel… especially when practically every incident involving a private aircraft seems to attract news coverage and endless speculation among the general public.
However, these breathless reports ignore the tens of thousands of private aircraft flights every day that safely and uneventfully transport passengers to destinations across the country and around the globe. In fact, more than 5,000 aircraft are in the air at any given time (see for yourself here!) While any form of transportation – even walking – poses some degree of risk, there are several reasons for passengers to feel confident and safe aboard private jets.
Meeting a Higher Safety Standard
First and foremost are the rigorous safety and maintenance requirements for such aircraft. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and other international regulatory bodies mandate that private jets be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure these aircraft are safe to operate.
Reputable operators will often go beyond these requirements by utilizing third-party auditing and risk management services like ARGUS, Wyvern, and IS-BAO to evaluate their own maintenance and flight department operations and ensure they meet a higher standard – or to identify possible areas for improvement.
Some charter providers (including Paramount Business Jets) further complement these already stringent checks with their own audits of the operator's safety record and performance standards. This includes verification that all clients' flights are operated by experienced flight crews whose total flight time in type is higher than regulators’ minimum requirements – and even insisting they be replaced with more seasoned pilots if necessary.
It’s also important to consider that private jets themselves offer several advantages over commercial airliners. As one example, in the event of a situation requiring an emergency diversion, most private aircraft can land at more than 5,000 public airports across the U.S. – far more than the 400 or so facilities large enough to accommodate large airliners.
Weather is another important consideration. Private jets often fly higher than commercial airliners, well above all but the most severe (and most avoidable) storms. In fact, some can fly at up to 51,000 feet, or nearly 20,000 feet higher than standard operating altitudes for commercial airliners; of course, there are times when flight crews must cancel a flight due to weather conditions or divert to a nearby airport – another advantage of being able to use so many smaller facilities.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions about how Safe your Aircraft and Crew are
A responsible and professional charter provider will not hesitate to discuss any safety concerns their clients may have, so their questions may be addressed and satisfied. This isn't only a responsible way to conduct business; such safety-related disclosures, including clearly identifying the name and record of the charter operator performing your flight – are also the law under the recently enacted Part 295 regulations that govern charter broker operations.