Martin Orlita has been involved in the aviation industry for 29 years. After his studies at the Czech University of Technology in Prague, he started his career as a manufacturer of aircraft, which gave him a lot of experience in the field of aviation equipment from designing aircraft to practical maintenance. During his career, he has established cooperation with many aviation companies and he has been active in a number of areas from design, maintenance, introduction of legislation, representing the country in JAAC, through management of aviation companies, training, auditing, consulting to import of aircraft or introduction of management systems of aviation companies. He was in the position of the General Director of ABA Air, starting from 2004 he has been present in ABS Jets and from 2005 to 2007 he also worked for Delta System Air. As an independent consultant and IOSA auditor, he has conducted over 80 audits in aviation companies worldwide. Currently, he is working for ABS Jets as Quality and Safety Manager. Among other things, Martin is a holder of the private pilot license, he took part in JAA and JAR courses in the Netherlands, he participated in a fellowship program in FAA, the U.S. and obtained a number of other certificates and licenses.
What greatest changes have happened since you have been present in the aviation field?
For me, the greatest change was 1989, which brought open communication and supply of information from other parts of the world. I always realize how important this is when I get to countries where information is restricted. The aviation segment then lags behind perhaps more than other industries.
“What is interesting is how many people are convinced that they have discovered something nobody has ever thought of in the aircraft operation field.”
Can you see any significant gaps concerning the aviation situation in the Central and Easter Europe, compared e.g. to the situation in the U.S. market?
Disregarding the opinions of aircraft “sellers”, who often adore the size and possibilities of the aircraft market in the U.S. and Western Europe compared to the situation in our country, I do not see any difference. I perceive differences between individuals and companies that want to pursue their business properly and those who try to circumvent and outsmart “good industry practices” or regulations and other rules in all possible ways, mostly for economical reasons. What they a bit forget is that these as I admit sometimes exaggerated and annoying regulations are written in red. And I do not mean ink.
Has there been any event in the business aviation field since your beginnings in this segment that was unexpected and surprising for you?
It was perhaps the occurrence of the economic crisis and its impact on business aviation. In this context, on the other hand, the relatively quick growth of business jets in the Czech Republic, even in the category of the large ones, is a pleasant surprise. I hope this will last and we will not follow the Swedish model where their numbers are decreasing.
How do you estimate the aviation situation in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia around 2025? Do you think we can expect new companies to appear?
Considering the mean life cycle of an aviation company in our countries, by the above mentioned year a great number of companies are certain to disappear and at the same time, new ones will emerge. And it will not only be in the aircraft operation area. What is interesting is how many people are convinced that they have discovered something nobody has ever thought of in the aircraft operation field. In the last 25 years, I have been able to participate in many projects. From the primary idea through its further development, it is all the same. Therefore, many companies relatively quickly cease to exist, or they, at least, must change their signboard and logo when they start again.
How did you get to aviation? Who or what was the primary impulse?
It was mainly my father and his all-life zeal for aviation and flying. As far as I remember, I grew up at an airport in the aviation club, almost every weekend. My father flew a plane and so we were there. I never planned another career in spite of having quite a lot of interests.
“What really makes me repeatedly happy are the moments I manage to find a solution to a problem or task.”
Is aviation important for you in your private dimension?
Yes, it is our family tradition. A tradition springing from enthusiasm, which is infectious in the positive sense of the word. There are seven of us in our family that live for aviation and do the flying. When we meet, and there are already three generations of us in our family, flying and aviation issues are the most frequent conversation topics for us.
To what extent do you think business jets influence the lives of people who use them?
Those who can use them obtain quite a different dimension concerning the freedom of movement, shortening of distances or reduction of time demands of traveling. But a business jet can also bring worries to its owners, especially if an operator that is not quite suitable is selected. A perfect pilot is actually not enough in most cases.
Martin Orlita’s chamber of secrets: What makes you most happy in your work?
What really makes me repeatedly happy are the moments I manage to find a solution to a problem or task. The combination of experience from various aviation areas helps me a lot in this respect. But it makes it more difficult to give a concise answer to somebody who wants to hear why “this way”. If you manage this, the feeling of satisfaction is added to the joy of finding the solution.
2016 weren’t easy for airlines around the globe that continue to struggle with ways of finding pilots to fill cockpit seats. 2017 is expected to be an even more pressing year, as Boeing, Airbus and other manufacturers keep accelerating their production, while the already small pool of qualified FOs and PICs grows at a significantly slower pace....
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