As a young boy, I can remember attending business meetings with my grandfather, Duncan Aviation founder Donald Duncan. He would often end those meetings with a promise and a handshake. And everyone in the industry knew that would be enough; Grandpa Donald was true to his word.
Over the years, we have built a culture of ethical behavior and integrity at Duncan Aviation. In today’s complicated world, ensuring that ethics and integrity are properly applied to real-world situations can be a bit trickier. I, however, believe they are even more important now.
Business aviation companies should set ethical expectations for team members regarding conflict of interest, code of conduct, confidentiality, discretion, intellectual property, and proprietary information, just to name a few. Then the company leadership at all levels must demonstrate and model those ethics in their everyday business interactions and transactions.
The NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) recently took an industry lead on this issue by releasing a formal, two-page statement called, “Ethical Business Aviation Transactions.” The statement is designed to serve as a resource for ethical best practices for business aviation transactions and addresses honest and ethical conduct, identifies where conflicts of interest may arise, and ensures compliance with state, federal, and international law.
Duncan Aviation’s senior management team fully endorses the NBAA statement and has committed to encourage others to embrace it and raise the bar on industry professionalism.
Duncan Aviation has long asked team members to agree to a strict Code of Conduct. This is because we believe our most valuable and fundamental asset is our reputation, which depends on the integrity and judgment of each of our team members. The essential message underlying the Code is that no one should ever sacrifice his or her integrity, whether for personal gain or a perceived benefit to Duncan Aviation’s business.
We understand that a Code of Conduct cannot possibly anticipate every situation. The bottom line is that Duncan Aviation relies on each employee’s sense of personal integrity to protect and promote the reputation of Duncan Aviation. We believe that the individual ethical conduct and judgment of our team members is fundamental to who we are.
Likewise, NBAA’s statement will help strengthen our industry by promoting a positive image within the community and among the public at large that will allow business aviation to continue to succeed and grow.