The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) announced that industry veteran Katherine Hilst has joined the organization as the new Operations Manager for the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) Program.
Bennet Walsh, Program Director of IS-BAO, commented, “Katherine’s credentials as a professional pilot, a safety management expert, instructor, aviation lawyer, and experienced IS-BAO auditor are outstanding, and we are excited to have her join the IBAC team. She brings operational insight and experience as an educator that are sure to enhance our educational programs and help us further develop the new progressive stage 3.”
As a safety management consultant and experienced IS-BAO auditor since 2010, Katherine’s role will include workshop and educational program development based on industry feedback to meet the needs of IS-BAO operators now and in the future.
“Safety is truly a passion for me and helping our industry be more proactive has always been at the core of my aviation career,” stated Katherine Hilst. “I have always recognized the IS-BAO standard as comprehensive and adaptable to any operation, and I have seen this successful program work for many business aviation operators as an IS-BAO auditor. I love teaching at all levels and look forward to my new role of renewing the educational program for IS-BAO.”
During the span of her extensive aviation career, Katherine began as a charter pilot and flight instructor in California and later became chief pilot for the operation. She then moved north and became the first safety manager for one of the largest helicopter operators in Alaska in the mid-1990s. Katherine later owned and operated a helicopter trekking and skiing company in Juneau, where she developed the safety and CRM training program for their pilots and crew. She has worked as a Human Factors/CRM instructor and consultant and in 2009 formed Safety Design Consulting, LLC, where she provided consulting services to the industry, including auditing for IS-BAO and Tour Operators Program of Safety (TOPS). Katherine is also an auditor for the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Accredited Program of Safety. As a commercial pilot in both helicopter and fixed-wing, Katherine has logged over 3200 hours of flight time and is a rotorcraft and instrument flight instructor.
Katherine received a Bachelor of Music in piano at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. She also has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from University of Alaska Southeast. She graduated with honors earning a Juris Doctor from the University of Washington, School of Law and was admitted to the Alaska and Washington Bar Associations. Katherine has also earned a Master of Aeronautical Science, Aviation, and Aerospace Safety Systems degree with distinction from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
As an adjunct faculty member since 2010 for the Central Oregon Community College, Katherine teaches aviation-related subjects. She is also an online instructor for an aviation law course for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Katherine and her husband reside in Bend, Oregon.