Speakers

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Thank you to all those who submitted an abstract. The portal now closed and will notify selected speakers shortly. 

Note: presenters must accept sole responsibility for the statements made in their abstract

Safeskies 2024 aims to promote awareness of aviation safety across the many sectors which make up the aviation ecosystem, such as crewed/uncrewed, civil/military, commercial/recreational, rescue/emergency services and the emerging space sector.

Our theme for the 2024 conference is ‘Safety Collaboration’ – bringing the various sectors together, highlighting the excellent safety work being done across the industry, breaking down the silos of excellence, and fostering even greater collaboration for more effective safety outcomes. 

Within the broad theme of 'Safety collaboration' Safeskies 2024 will consider themes such as:

Data-driven safety intelligence systems

Using data effectively to improve safety

Sharing the skies safely

Managing an increasingly congested airspace safely

Technology and training: the future aviation workforce

Continuing development of a professional and safe industry using technology

Safety culture in outsourced activities

Shifting safety culture in outsourced activities - for example, ground handling

The enduring accident causal factors 1993-2023

Learning from the past

Safety Innovation

New ideas for safer operations

Presentation proposal review and selection

The Safeskies 2024 conference committee will review all abstracts submitted. Decisions made by the committee are final.

Each abstract must specify a presenter, who will be notified of the committee’s decision when the abstract acceptances are distributed.

The presenter of each accepted abstract must register for the entire conference meeting and must be available to present on the day allocated.

Abstracts submitted for presentation to Safeskies 2024 are expected to be original and unique submissions, and not previously presented at other aviation safety conferences or meetings.

Accepted abstracts will be published on the Safeskies 2024 website/conference app/ handbook.

Presentations may comprise part of a themed grouping and involve a panel discussion, or may be stand-alone (stand-alone presentations will run for a maximum of 30 minutes, with 10 minutes for questions.

We look forward to your valuable contributions to devising a program which will include an engaging and varied line-up of speakers on our 2024 theme of ‘Safety collaboration’.

Our 2024 dinner speaker will be Major General Jeannie M. Leavitt, who was the first female jet pilot in the US Air Force, flying F-15s, and becoming the USAF Chief of Safety in August 2021. She said of her time in the USAF: ‘One thing that’s changed is women are no longer a novelty. When I started flying fighters in 1993, there were no other women. So there were no female instructor pilots, no flight commanders and no squadron commanders. The good news is this opportunity opened up, and quite a few women followed in my path.’

Thank you to those who submitted presentation proposals. With your valuable contribution, we have now finalised the program, which includes an engaging and varied line-up of speakers on our 2022 theme of ‘Sharing the skies safely’.

The conference opens with the dinner speaker, Andre Stein, CEO of Eve Air Mobility, and Dr Peter Kearney, CE of the Irish Aviation Authority, whose day one presentation will be on innovation in air traffic management. Also on day one: ‘Leveraging safety standards in advanced air mobility’: a panel of speakers facilitated by Greenbird.

Former Major General Jeannie M. Leavitt

Department of the Air Force Chief of Safety - Ret 2023

Former Major General Jeannie M. Leavitt

Safeskies is delighted to announce that 2024’s Sir Reginald Ansett Memorial Lecture will be given by Major General Jeannie M. Leavitt. In keeping with the 2024 theme: ‘Safety collaboration’, she will talk about her work on leading the USAF safety directorate and promoting aviation safety across the sector.

Jeannie Leavitt is a proven strategic leader, administrator, and communicator. She is a highly decorated retired Major General of the United States Air Force who learned to skilfully navigate uncharted territory after becoming the first female fighter pilot for the Air Force early in her career. During her 31 years of service, she held a variety of demanding command and staff positions. She has led large-scale, diverse, global organizations where she earned a reputation as a motivational leader, strategic thinker and change agent who delivered innovative solutions to the most complex challenges.

As Commander, Air Force Safety Center—and Chief of Safety for the Air Force and Space Force—she developed, directed, and evaluated all aviation, ground, weapons, space and system mishap prevention and nuclear surety programs. She also developed and directed all risk management courses for the Air Force and Space Force. Her diplomatic skills were key in standing up the Joint Safety Council, comprised of all military services, focused on collaboration to strengthen mishap prevention across the Department of Defense.

As Director of Operations and Communications, Air Education and Training Command, the largest training organization in the world, she was responsible for providing initial skills, undergraduate flying, post graduate combat crew and supplemental training for more than 300,000 Air Force, Space Force, joint, and international personnel at 65 Air Force and Department of Defense locations. During her tenure, she skillfully led a long overdue transition to a new Information Technology learning system for the entire Department of the Air Force.

As Commander, Air Force Recruiting Service, she provided strategic guidance for 2,800+ personnel and managed 1,040+ recruiting offices globally. She was responsible for accession of 40,000+ personnel annually. During her tenure, she built brand awareness for the newly formed United States Space Force and led organizational change to Total Force Recruiting. She managed a $100M+ budget for Air Force and Space Force strategic marketing.

As Commander, 57th Wing, she led the Air Force’s most diverse flying organization, comprising 37 flying squadrons at 13 different locations with a variety of more than 150 aircraft. Wing missions included the United States Air Force Weapons School, Exercise Red Flag, and the Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team. She held a variety of additional assignments including command of a fighter wing, principal military assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary Ash Carter, and a Chief of Staff of the Air Force Fellow at the Central Intelligence Agency. Her extensive experience in wartime, contingency and humanitarian relief operations include Operations Southern and Northern Watch, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. She is an experienced command pilot with more than 3,000 hours, including 300+ hours in combat. She is a graduate and former F-15E instructor pilot of the United States Air Force Weapons School.

Prior to entering active-duty service in the Air Force, Jeannie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. Additional graduate degrees she earned include a Master of Business Administration from Auburn University, a Master of Military Operational Art and Science from Air University, and a Master of National Security Strategy from the National War College, National Defense University.

Her previous board experiences include being the inaugural Chair of the Joint Safety Council, tri-Chair with FAA and NASA on the Senior Steering Group for strategic oversight of space launch safety, and a voting member of both the Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board and the United States Air Force Heritage Board. She is currently a Principal at Pallas Advisors and a Distinguished National Security Fellow at the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas. Additionally, she is a member on the Engineering Advisory Board at the Cockrell School of Engineering, the University of Texas at Austin.

Gerard Forlin KC

Gerard Forlin KC is one of the UK’s most highly regarded barristers with wide-ranging expertise in civil, criminal and commercial litigation, corporate governance, major event planning & crowd safety; state, ceremonial and historical events; crisis management, psychological risk duties, health and safety, aviation, environmental (including ecocide), inquests and inquiries, local authority governance and services and regulatory law. 

Educated at Trinity Hall Cambridge, LSE and UCL, Gerard has been instructed in some of the most high-profile cases and inquiries of recent years including: the Grenfell Tower fire, the Shoreham air crash, the MH370 aviation disaster, Alton Towers ride collision, and the Hatfield, Ladbroke Grove, Southhall, Teebay, Purely and Watford train crashes, F1 cases plus numerous other cases both in the UK and internationally. 

Gerard practises all over the globe, from Vancouver in Canada to Queenstown in New Zealand, from the Falkland Islands and South Georgia in the Antarctic Ocean to Seoul in Korea and Beijing in China. He has worked in over 85 countries, one of only a tiny handful of London barristers to have ever achieved this. In 2020, Gerard was also called to the Bar of Ireland, after passing the Irish Bar Examination. Gerard is called to numerous other bars including Australia, Ireland and the British Virgin Islands. He is an overseas member of State Chambers in Sydney.

He has also appeared in court in several jurisdictions across the world and advised numerous other parties including airlines, airports, manufacturers, and mining, fishing, water, oil and gas and tour companies. 

In recent years, Gerard has been ranked in no fewer than seven areas in the leading independent legal directories including Health and Safety, Product Liability, Crime, Public Inquiries and Inquests, Consumer Law, Aviation and Environmental Law. He was also awarded the title of Regulatory Barrister of the Year in 2015, 2016, 2023 and 2024.

Gerard practises from Cornerstone Barristers in London and State Chambers in Sydney. He has authored over 100 articles and is the general editor of Corporate Liability: Work related deaths and criminal prosecutions (3rd Edition). The 4th edition will be released in 2024 by Bloomsbury. 

He has done extensive media work as an expert pundit and appeared in numerous programs and documentaries on a variety of subjects. Gerard is an actor and undertakes many mock trials for various organisations, both in the UK and abroad. 

Gerard Forlin KC

Barrister KC

Advanced air mobility panel

Greenbird is facilitating a panel on advanced air mobility on day one of the conference, examining the importance of gaining and maintaining consumer confidence for the successful uptake of new technology.

The expert panel comprising Sara Hales, MD Greenbird; and Greenbird members, Tim Ryley of Griffith University; Jia Le Koh of Skyports Asia-Pacific; and Andrew Moore of AMSL Aero, will look especially at how safety standards can be leveraged to foster this confidence.

Sara Hales

Managing Director, Greenbird

Tim Ryley

Professor of Aviation, Griffith University

Jia Le Koh

Regulatory Affairs Lead, APAC, Skyports

Andrew Moore

CEO and Co-Founder, AMSL Aero

Regulation and technology panel

The panel comprises three speakers: Dr Reece Clothier, a principal analyst with Boeing, and president of the Australian Association for Uncrewed Systems (AAUS); Dr Rob Weaver, the regulation & public policy global lead for Eve Air Mobility; and Zachary Kennedy, the chief regulatory officer of Australian drone-powered logistics start-up, Swoop Aero.

They will address the challenges new technologies such as drones and advanced air mobility bring for regulators, creating pressure to create fit-for-purpose, flexible regulations meeting safety needs, while allowing such dynamic technologies room to evolve.

Dr Reece Clothier

Principal Analyst

Dr Rob Weaver

Regulation & public policy global lead

Zachary Kennedy

Chief Regulatory Officer
Sara Hales is a leading Australian strategist and is managing director of AVISTRA and Greenbird – Australia’s advanced air mobility industry collaboration platform.

Sara is working to deliver value for communities and economies through aviation, airports, infrastructure, air freight and advanced air mobility. With unique experience in the operationalisation of new aviation businesses and a pragmatic approach to business development, Sara is in a unique position to play a role in creating a world where air mobility is for everyone and doesn’t cost the Earth.

Tim Ryley joined Griffith University in 2015 as the inaugural Professor of Aviation. Prof. Ryley has over twenty-five years of academic experience across universities in the UK and Australia.

His research has typically been industry-linked, inter-disciplinary and problem-based, having led or co-led over 15 research projects totalling over $5 million. Collaborations have been with a wide range of aviation industry and Government partners, including major airports and airlines. Prof. Ryley’s research has increasingly focused on the environmental aspects of aviation, and he is an internationally leading expert in decarbonising the aviation industry. 

Jia Le Koh is the Regulatory Affairs Lead, APAC, for global advanced air mobility (AAM) infrastructure developer and drone services operator, Skyports. 

He plays a critical role across both Skyports’ business segments, leading conversations that inform and guide regulatory bodies, standards-setting organisations, and private sector companies to develop and mature the evolving AAM regulatory environment. He also oversees the safety and compliance of Skyports’ Asia Pacific operations.

Prior to joining Skyports, Jia Le was the Deputy Head of Hub Strategy and Connectivity with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and also held appointments in aviation safety.

Andrew Moore is a qualified aeronautical engineer and pilot and has worked in aerospace leadership roles for over 20 years. Andrew has held a range of senior engineering and business development leadership roles, in the defence and commercial aviation sectors.

After a successful career, Andrew embarked on a PhD in 2017, researching the distributed electric propulsion for aircraft. Andrew co-founded AMSL Aero with Siobhan Lyndon in 2017, with the mission to decarbonise air transport.

Dr Reece Clothier is a principal analyst within Global Safety & Regulatory Affairs, Boeing Product & Services Safety, responsible for Boeing’s international regulatory strategy. 

In addition to his role with Boeing, Reece is the elected President of the Australian Association for Uncrewed Systems (AAUS) and an honorary associate professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Reece was a founding board member of AAUS, and over the last decade has played an instrumental part in helping the Association develop into Australia’s peak national industry body for the emerging autonomous aviation sector. Since 2005 he has established, led and continues to actively support numerous national forums on the regulation of the drone/AAM sector. Reece serves on the General Aviation Advisory Network, is a member of the CASA Aviation Safety Advisory Panel, the Federal Government’s National Emerging Aviation Technologies Consultative Committee, and the Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group (ASTRA) Council. In 2022, Reece co-led the development of Australia’s remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and advanced air mobility (AAM) strategic regulatory roadmap.

With over 100 peer-reviewed academic publications, Reece is recognised as a leading researcher and thought leader in the fields of aviation safety management and regulation of the emerging autonomous aviation sector. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering (aerospace avionics) and PhD in the safety and certification of drones from Queensland University of Technology.

Dr Rob Weaver is the regulation & public policy global lead for Eve Air Mobility, the Embraer backed start-up dedicated to accelerating the global urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem.

Previously he was Executive General Manager Safety, Environment & Assurance at Airservices Australia, where he was a member of the Executive for six years. He has also worked for the UK’s air navigation service provider and holds a PhD in safety critical systems from the University of York.

Zachary Kennedy is the Chief Regulatory Officer of Australian drone-powered logistics start-up, Swoop Aero. With extensive experience in regulatory and safety management, Zac has held safety and operations management roles with the Qantas Group, as well as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. In addition to these roles, Zachary sits on the Australian National Emerging Aviation Technology Consultative Committee’s (NEAT CC), is a Fellow with the Commonwealth Drone Partnership, and serves as an Industry Fellow at Melbourne’s Monash University.

Zachary’s experience lends a deep understanding of regulatory engagement, certification, and safety management and its applicability to RPAS. In his current role, Zac leads Swoop Aero’s engagement aviation regulatory standards, ensuring the successful implementation of Swoop Aero’s aircraft globally, and paving the way for Swoop Aero to deliver on its goal of making integrated drone logistics accessible to one billion people in 2030.