Lithium batteries, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), automation and safety information protection are among the safety critical issues to be discussed at Flight Safety Foundation’s 69th annual International Air Safety Summit (IASS 2016) scheduled for Nov. 14–16 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“We are very excited about this year’s agenda and about the experts from across the industry who have agreed to speak at IASS,” said Foundation President and CEO Jon Beatty. “I am confident that attendees will not only gain insight into the issues and risks facing global aviation, but also that they will leave after three days with fresh ideas on how to mitigate those risks and move the industry forward.”

This year’s keynote speech will be delivered by Capt. Henry Donohoe, divisional senior vice president of flight operations at Emirates and a member of the Foundation’s Board of Governors. Today’s commercial transport pilot has transitioned from being an active handling pilot to a supervisor of highly reliable automated systems with built-in redundancies, said Capt. Donohoe, who will explore the pros and cons of automation in aviation and the importance of a “back to basics” training approach.

The IASS 2016 general sessions were planned around several themes, including human factors, safety information protection, training, data, go-around compliance, managing risk, somatogravic illusion and remotely piloted aircraft systems. Specific presentation topics within those themes include “Facilitation and Frustration: Automation in Day-to-Day Operations,” “Virtual Tools for Enhancing Flight Safety,” “Application and Use of Big Data in an SMS [Safety Management System] World,” and “How Much Safety Data Do Small Drones Embed?”

In addition, the second day of IASS will feature a day-long concurrent track session on maintenance and engineering that will cover such topics as “Engineering Safety Culture as a Contributor to Operator Safety,” “Fatigue Risk Management for Maintenance Organizations,” and “Maintenance LOSA: A Tool for Diagnosis and Safety Promotion.” More information on the agenda is available here.

The host sponsor for IASS 2016 is Emirates, a benefactor member of the Foundation, as well as one of the world’s largest international carriers and most technically advanced operators. Emirates also is the official airline of the event. Other major sponsors include platinum level contributors Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Rolls-Royce.

The Foundation expects this year’s attendance to reach close to 300 individuals from 50 countries, representing airlines, business aviation, manufacturers, support services, governments, nonprofits and academia. IASS 2016 also will feature an exhibitor marketplace showcasing the latest in aviation safety products and services.

“I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Henry Donohoe, Capt. Mark Burtonwood, senior vice president of safety, and to everyone at Emirates for all of their hard work and support,” Beatty said. “It has been a pleasure working with the Emirates team, and I know all our IASS attendees are going to benefit from those efforts.”