Living Our Core Values: Lee Holland Connects the Dots for Airworthiness

Lee Holland

Bristow Fleet Support Manager – Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa (EAMEA) Lee Holland has found his life calling in air worthiness standards, which is a culmination of the experience and knowledge he has gained throughout his career. In this article, he explains Bristow efforts to standardize maintenance globally.

Please provide a description of the effort.

I am part of a team that is standardizing Airworthiness processes and procedures, which ultimately saves lives and protects our people, passengers and assets.

In April 2020, we began a gap analysis on Airworthiness Management methodologies across Bristow and Era. How are we structured to cope with Airworthiness Management globally? Each side had its strengths. We identified those strengths and are implementing the best of both across our organization.

Fleet Support services are provided by the UK team – which covers EAMEA operations– and the U.S. team – which covers the Americas. Our goal is to be consistent across both organizations. U.S. Fleet Support Manager Chastity Marks and I work closely together to ensure constant alignment. We are rewriting policies and procedures with our teams to ensure consistency around the globe. We have enlisted involvement from all locations, so it is very much a global effort. We are currently heading into an implementation phase that will see improved management of our Maintenance Programs, our Reliability Analysis, the production of engineering instructions, configuration control, Certification activity and Documentation management This is no short-term endeavor. We have long timelines, but the final product will be well worth the time and effort.

Why is this endeavor necessary?

The complexity of Bristow requires efforts for standardization. We can't get stuck on "This is the way we've always done it." We want to build a business that is prepared to share learnings across operations in all future endeavors. There's no need to only look in the rearview mirror – we are looking forward too! 

Why is this project important to Bristow?

We are intensely focused on efficiency. While some may immediately think of reducing headcount when discussing efficiency, we can leverage other elements of our business with much greater success. When it comes to our people, the sum is truly greater than its parts. We need to rely on our people's strengths and variety of perspectives. If we can harness the intelligence that is held within the business, we can achieve great success. This is the benefit of processes standardization. We are leveraging the knowledge and experience within the organization to ensure we are a well-oiled machine.

Not only does this standardization increase efficiency, it builds a safer organization by mitigating risk.

Why is this project important to you personally?

I've worked in lots of areas and locations within Bristow during my 16 years with the company. I decided several years ago that I don't just want to show up to work every day – I want to make a difference in the world and in the industry. My personal mission is to improve Airworthiness standards to ensure flight safety. Policies, processes, procedures all feed into this. We have a huge opportunity to significantly impact the industry – and this is what I've set out to do!

I've been fortunate to hold various positions within the MRO processes. I've looked after aircraft in line maintenance and base maintenance capacity, in multiple locations. All present different challenges. Operating an aircraft in Norway presents very different challenges from operating an aircraft in West Africa. As I worked in different locations in different capacities, I started to piece together the strengths of each area, as well as gaps in the way we approach things. I try to leverage the experience and knowledge of those around me to make sense of it all.

We contribute to and participate in many industry steering committee work streams. With this work, we have an opportunity to improve safety across the entire industry! It's an incredible opportunity, and I don't take it lightly. This work within Airworthiness management will ultimately have a significant positive impact on not only Bristow, but the entire industry. 

What does innovation mean to you? Why is it important? 

We're not going to sit still – we're moving! What we are  really trying to achieve right now is progress!

We need to constantly be assessing ourselves and asking how we can intelligently manage our processes. Innovation is looking at the situation you're in today and the people involved and determining how we can get in a better situation. What can we improve for ourselves, our company, our clients? If we're not thinking that way, we're not going to progress; and we will fall behind. How can we innovate our processes we use every day to get rid of inefficiencies? We're looking for innovation in hardware and processes. We can't get hung up in thinking, "We've done it that way for years, no need to change!" This is a battle we need to fight every day. Innovation is achievable at every level in every process we do. It's the incremental improvements that count. We can't do everything in a day, but we can do something every day.