ARAVI C-208 Caravan Hangar 1 in Guaymaral.
By Lindsay Emery
PAE's ARAVI program team has worked over 2,700 days without an OSHA incident as of July 9. With 22 years of aviation experience and three and a half years serving as the ARAVI program manager, Alvaro Flores knows the importance of safety.
"The most important reason safety is our top priority is that at the end of the day work is work, people are our most prized asset and so if they're our most prized asset they're definitely the most prized asset to their families," Flores said. "So our goal is at the end of the day to get everybody home safely."
ARAVI UH-60 Hangar 2 in Guaymaral.
ARAVI Huey II Hangar 3 in Guaymaral.
Even though Flores and his team are going on 2,700 days without a recordable OSHA incident, he is constantly trying to ensure the safety of every employee by continuously searching for better and safer ways to conduct business.
"As you know in aviation, the mission can be dangerous so the best thing we can do is focus heavily on safety as being our number one priority, our top priority," Flores said.
On the ARAVI program, PAE's Readiness & Sustainment team provides aviation training and logistics support to the U.S. Department of State under the International Narcotics Liaison in partnership with the Colombian National Police Bogota, Colombia.
ARAVI AT-802 Flight Line Ramp in Mariquita.
ARAVI Huey II Hangar in Tulua.
When Flores came to the ARAVI program, he implemented safety awards like the trophy that is awarded to the safest hangar. All awards are determined by votes from peers, which Flores said produces healthy competition.
In addition to the safety trophy, Flores's team gives out "Stop and Go" safety cards. When someone is given a stop card, they are encouraged to look at what they are doing and bring the activity up to standard. In theory, an employee will be evaluated if multiple stop cards are issued. That has not occurred under Flores.
"Behind safety and quality is teamwork, and employee recognition is crucial because if people feel like you care about them, then they're going to care about each other and they're going to care about you," Flores said. "Then they're going to look out for the well-being of all of their peers and it just builds comradery."
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the site began to implement processes that did not exist before to make ensure the safety of his team. Their hard work has paid off.