Finalist: Aeromedic Innovations Group

Location London, UK

Achievement: Official licensing for providing airline medical kit. In October 1996, Aeromedic Innovations became the first company in the world to be licensed by a regulatory authority - the UK's Medicines Control Agency - to make and maintain a full on-board medical kit.

The M5Emergency Medical Kit includes a customised range of general medical and surgical equipment for use by trained airline crew as well as a section for use by qualified doctors.

The kit is now being used as an industry benchmark in Europe, where new regulations require the presence of trained crewmembers of doctors. Aeromedic has a growing tally of international airline customers, with more than 500 kits alone being used with British Airways. As recently as 1995, the kit helped to save the life of a passenger with a punctured lung on a non-stop flight from Hong Kong to London.


Finalist Britannia Airways

Location Luton, UK

Achievement: Fitting the Contran system to prevent conflicts in radio transmissions. After two years of trials, Britannia Airways has become the first airline to start fitting its fleet with the Contran VHF radio anti-blocking system. The aim is to prevent the radio blocking and conflicts which can cause confusion in busy airspace, where many pilots are talking to ground controllers.

Britannia was quick to spot Contran's benefits and has worked closely with manufacturer British Aerospace Systems and Equipment (BASE), starting trials on a Boeing 767 in 1994.

If a pilot attempts to transmit on a frequency where another transmission is already in progress, Contran stops the signal and gives a clear warning across the pilot's headset. The pilot is also warned if the transmit button is inadvertently left switched on, blocking other radio frequencies. Britannia took delivery of the first Contran-equipped aircraft in March 1997 and plans to equip the whole of its fleet.


Finalist Serco Aviation Services

Location Bath, UK

Achievement: Training of Russian aviation instructors. Serco Aviation Services, which celebrated its 50th anniversary at the start of the year, has put more than 8,000 delegates from 120 countries through courses at its main aviation training centre at Bailbrook College.

Another major contract was signed in with the European Commission in January to provide a training programme for Russia, helping it to develop its air-traffic-control (ATC)service and to enhance levels of air safety.

The contract includes the training of 60 teachers of aviation English and another 110 ATC instructors . Serco will also be establishing distance-learning training centres in Russia, where the new trainers will work to train new recruits.

The Awards judges felt that Serco, originally founded as Aeradio International in 1947, deserved special recognition for this contribution towards raising air-safety levels worldwide.

Source: Flight International