Why is Integrity important in Aviation?
Well, Aviation is a dangerous business which relies heavily on the moral fibre of those employed within.
A friend of mine once said that “integrity has no value itself however it is the value that ensures all other values”. What a bold statement! It’s true though…
Aviation is About Safety
Interesting, Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles” – in essence Integrity is the ability to do the right thing because you know it is the right thing to do even if it is difficult to do. At its core, aviation is about safety:
· The Safety of those working with the aircraft; the Engineers and the Pilots who entrust their lives to others in flight,
· The Safety of the Passengers; people paying for transport and those in desperate need of transport,
· And the Safety of the Public – those who encounter aircraft without intention and trust the professionals they encounter
Responsibility within Aviation
Those working with Aviation have a huge responsibility to maintain the highest levels of safety at all times because at its core, Aviation is a dangerous business.
In no other profession is the need for honesty greater as the consequences of dishonesty (the Antonym of Integrity) are Career, Life and Industry threatening. At all levels of Operation, Engineering, Design and Airworthiness every single person must have the moral calibre to adhere to their principles. Without fail and for the safety of all they absolutely must:
· Admit to mistakes as they are discovered
· Follow procedures as defined
· Promote a culture of conscientious diligence
· And honestly report incidents before they become accidents
No Blame Culture in Aviation
Whilst there will be consequences there should be no blame. A responsible individual should be rewarded with a responsible Employer who will stand by and support their employees during difficult times. Employers should foster a safe environment when employees feel able to come forward and admit mistakes without fear of undue recrimination. Yes, there will be consequences for errors however much better to catch an error early than investigate an accident later.
Finally, in Aviation
There should be no exceptions to honesty and integrity. Integrity is a state of mind and is not situational. If you compromise your integrity in small situations where there may be little consequence, then it becomes much easier to compromise on the larger situations. We must all remain strong and guard against the easy decision where bigger risks are concerned.