Former RAF pilot becomes Managing Director of Baines Simmons

30 April 2018 4 min. read
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Air Partner has appointed a former RAF pilot and first-rate safety specialist as Managing Director of its aviation safety consultancy Baines Simmons. Ian Holder will help the firm navigate an aviation industry on the brink of huge change.

Air Partner, an aviation services firm, has appointed a new Managing Director of its aviation safety consultancy Baines Simmons. Ian Holder has been promoted from his current role of Principal Consultant, a position he has held at the consultancy since joining in 2015. An experienced pilot boasting RAF and civilian airline experience, Holder is now a safety management specialist, having joined Flybe in 2009, occupying a number of senior positions during his spell at the regional airline.

Departing in 2015, Holder joined Baines Simmons, and has since advised a broad range of global airlines on safety issues for the firm. He is a champion of the use of organisational safety cultures to improve business performance. As Managing Director Holder will be expected to apply his experience to fueling further company growth, continuing to work from the Baines Simmons office at Fairoaks airport, a general aviation facility in Surrey.

Ian Holder, Managing Director - Baines Simmons

Holder was promoted to the role after a deep external and internal talent search. His extensive industry experience and existing client relationships are what made him stand out, said Mark Briffa, the CEO of Air Partner to whom Holder will report directly.

"I am delighted to welcome Ian to the role of Managing Director. He is the ideal person to build on what we have already achieved since acquiring Baines Simmons in 2015.

“We are making good headway against our strategic objective to create a balanced business between Broking and Consulting & Training, and I have no doubt that Baines Simmons’ growth trajectory will gain further traction under Ian’s leadership,” he added.

Air Partner’s Consulting & Training division comprises not only Baines Simmons but also Clockwork Research —a leading fatigue risk management consultancy —and SafeSkys —a supplier of air traffic control services. Baines Simmons is considered a world leader in aviation safety consulting and employs a specialist focus on the regulation, compliance and safety management fields.

Before its acquisition by Air Partner in 2015, Baines Simmons had developed a first-class reputation within the aviation safety consulting field. Its reputation continues to grow and, in 2017, the consulting firm was selected by the European Defence Agency to help it implement new safety management protocols.

Consulting firms are expected to play a major role as the global aviation industry braces itself for an era of ambitious change and disruptive new technologies. An additional 10,000 planes are set to join the saturated stratosphere from commercial airlines alone in the next ten years.

Airlines and titans of the aerospace industry are also racing to develop game-changing flight technology that will minimise carbon footprints while maximising efficiency. A recent Roland Berger study concluded that the emergence of electrical propulsion as the dominant power source in commercial aviation was a matter of ‘when, not if’. As airlines, OEMs and the aerospace industry jump on the electrification bandwagon, consultancies are certain to play a critical advisory role.