Flying the world’s elite at LEA

Glyn Anderson has been with London Executive Aviation (LEA) since its foundation in 1996, but despite having added senior management and Legacy fleet responsibilities to his work as a pilot, flying is still what he enjoys most.

How did you end up at London Executive Aviation?
I joined London Executive Aviation in 1996. I started as a Seneca pilot, but my role now is senior manager, deputy chief pilot and Legacy fleet manager, covering three L650s and six L600s. I am also responsible for quality control and maintaining standards across the company.

Describe your job and a typical working week
In my role as fleet manager at LEA, I effectively manage an airline-style operation within a corporate market. The responsibilities that come with this role are varied and challenging, and maintaining safety throughout the fleet is of paramount importance. In addition to my role as line pilot and trainer, my management responsibilities are wide reaching. Essentially, it is my job to support the crew in all aspects of the job and to maintain an oversight of the fleet operationally.

Due to the diverse nature of my role, it is difficult to summarise a typical working week. A recent week at work involved flying to Dubai and then to Hong Kong, on to the Maldives, and then back to Hong Kong, before returning to the UK to catch up with work in the office!

What do you enjoy more: flying or the management roles?
I’m lucky in the sense that I genuinely love what I do, but I would have to say flying is what I enjoy most. On that recent flight from Hong Kong back to the UK, I spent a lot of time taking in the unfamiliar sights from above northern China, Mongolia and eastern Russia, and taking photos to post on Twitter. There aren’t many jobs that allow you to enjoy that kind of experience!

The fact that LEA has such a diverse client base also makes flying all the more interesting. Our aircraft are mostly used by businesses that need to save time on travel to international meetings, which are vital to maintaining the UK’s global business relationships, but I have also flown heads of state, politicians and people from the film, music and sports industries.

What are the biggest challenges?
At present, LEA’s Legacy fleet employs 25 full-time type rated pilots, so this requires a degree of human resource management. This aspect of the job can, at times, be the most challenging as you have to balance the individual needs with the complex demands of business aviation. In terms of satisfying our customers, the challenge is in making sure we meet their exact requirements, including cost-effectiveness, time management, flexibility, privacy and comfort.

Ensuring that safety standards are maintained is another essential but challenging part of the job and this becomes even more demanding as the fleet continues to expand. However, all of the Legacy crew are totally committed to LEA’s safety culture and risk management. The destinations the fleet operates to vary immensely in terms of airport characteristics, geo-political environments, weather and performance, so this is another challenge that we face. Each of these challenges requires a combination of autonomy, teamwork and resourcefulness from the crew, along with support from me as their line manager as and when it’s required.

Where does LEA find its new recruits and what sort of people do you look for?
Recruiting the right people into LEA’s Legacy fleet is a real challenge. There is a strong element of profiling that needs to be considered. However, given the experience I have had in developing my own career within a rapidly expanding company, I have a unique insight of the personal and professional requisites for the job. The right people tend to be inspired, capable of autonomous decision-making, pragmatic and team players. A type rating also helps!

Published in: Flight International 4-10 June 2013, Working Week

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