Gerard Forlin KC speaks at Air India flight safety seminar

29 Jan 2024

Inquests and Inquiries, Commercial and Regulatory

Gerard Forlin KC has returned from a short visit to India where he gave the keynote speech at Air India’s Focus ’24 Flight Safety seminar. The seminar was attended by over 200 delegates from across the aviation sector in India, including representatives from Boeing, Airbus, Airlines and Regulators.

Gerard shared insights on flight safety derived from his extensive experience in health and safety matters in the aviation industry, which includes recently representing the families of the 11 people killed in the Shoreham Air Crash during the inquest.

Air India, who hosted the event, is the flag carrier of the country, operating 128 aircraft and flying to 84 destinations, carrying millions of passengers across the globe annually. A fast-growing company, they have recently ordered 470 new aircraft.

Highlights from Gerard’s presentation include:

  • Collective Responsibility for Safety. Gerard emphasised that establishing a safety-centric culture is crucial to ensure everyone is committed to upholding the highest standards. Sharing international findings of aviation accidents is vital to prevent similar incidents in the future.
  • AAIB and Investigation Implications. Gerard highlighted the need for thorough investigations because the findings are considered final and cannot easily be challenged. The limitation imposed by ICAO Annex 13 on revisiting investigation findings globally underscores the commitment to unified aviation safety protocols among its signatories, as it comprises UN bodies.
  • Mental Health in Aviation. A rarely discussed issue in aviation is mental health. Drawing from an EU survey on the wellbeing of aircrew, Gerard underscored the need to address mental health as a crucial element of overall safety.
  • Operations Staff and Real Risks. Employees play a pivotal role in ensuring onboard and ground safety, where even a minor oversight can lead to significant repercussions.

Described in Chamber UK Bar 2024 as a “phenomenal court advocate”, Gerard is known globally having practised, lectured or consulted in over 80 countries, one of only a tiny handful of London barristers to have ever achieved this. In the Legal 500 (2024) directory he is ranked in health and safety, aviation, and inquests & inquiries – the only barrister in the UK to have that combination. In May 2023, he was named England’s regulatory barrister of the year by the Global 100.

View his profile here.