Steve Brown
ATC does not need to be privatized, NBAA's Steve Brown told attendees at the Flight Attendants and Flight Technicians conference.(Photo: Amy Laboda)

Retired Accident Investigator Urges Flight Attendants To Stress Safety Mission

Flight attendants must demand respect from the flight crew and get them to understand that the cabin crew are chief safety players, retired National Transportation Safety Board accident investigator and aviation consultant Gregory Feith told attendees at the 22nd annual National Business Aviation Association Flight Attendants and Flight Technicians Conference in Long Beach, California.

A keynote speaker during the first day of general sessions at the conference, Feith focused his presentation on the human factors involved in flight and cabin crew coordination. He implored flight attendants to stress that they are “customer safety representatives.” He encouraged attendees to “run a 30-second ‘what if—then’ scenario drill in the 30 seconds before any takeoff and pick a passenger that you believe could assist you to get everyone out of the airplane. There is almost always someone who can help.”

NBAA COO Steve Brown kicked off the general sessions by urging the more than 250 attendees to write to their congressional representatives. “One unfortunate part of the president’s recent [infrastructure] proposals is the privatization of Air Traffic Control. I’ve managed ATC…and it is not in need of privatization,” he said. “You can’t get better service through competition here, which is the only reason to privatize. And we don’t want commercial entities controlling this system. We want this to be a public-benefit system where everyone has equal access.”

The NBAA expects a House bill to be introduced next week calling for an independent ATC organization, he said, adding, “We are actively preparing to fight it.” Brown referred attendees to the Contact Congress page at for verbiage.

Following Brown was Linda Talley, an expert in nonverbal communication, who reviewed the three primary nonverbal methods by which humans communicate worldwide.

“There’s eye contact, the smile, and the handshake in the western world,” she explained. How long one maintains eye contact, the sincerity of one’s smile, and the firmness of a handshake make lasting first impressions on passengers, clients, and in job interviews.