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Banyan Air Service's Kenny Gibson: 2022 Team Leader of the Year

With a focus on policy and documentation, Gibson has enhanced Banyan Air Service’s safety practices and has led the FBO to Stage 2 IS-BAH Registration.

From Aviation Pros: When Kenny Gibson sets out to do something, he sees to it that the task is completed and done to the best of his ability. He’s applied that attitude to the safety initiatives being undertaken at Banyan Air Service.

He has risen into a leadership position quickly. Since beginning with Banyan at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) in 2007, Gibson has been promoted to thirdshift supervisor, second shift supervisor and training manager.

Now serving as training and safety manager – a role which he has held since 2016 – and vice chairman of Banyan’s Safety Committee, Gibson manages five on-the-job trainers and works alongside the line service manager to help lead a team of 42 employees in the line service department.

What’s more, Gibson has been instrumental in implementing a new training manual with a complete emergency response plan (ERP) and a safety management system (SMS). Most recently, he guided Banyan Air Service through the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) process, and documented safety procedures to secure Stage 2 registration in the IS-BAH program.

For his dedication to improving operations and ensuring the safety for his colleagues, Gibson has been named Ground Support Worldwide’s 2022 Team Leader of the Year.

Improving Safety

Gibson’s aviation career began in 1999 when he took a job as a line service technician for Miami Aviation Corporation. During a change with Miami Aviation Corporation ownership, Gibson took the opportunity to work for the new management at Landmark Aviation, which transferred him to F45 North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport.

“After five years in Miami, I moved to work for Sheltair at FLL as their traveling supervisor, where I was in charge of the teams at all Florida locations. I gained profound experience in line service and can tow aircraft ranging from a Cessna 152 to a Boeing 747,” Gibson says.

He joined Banyan Air Service in 2007 and continued to grow his career through a multitude of training courses. Gibson completed the NATA Safety 1st Line Service Training and Supervisor Training courses; the Avfuel Professional Fuel Handling Training Course; and the American Safety Council Class A/B Operator Storage Tank Training Course.

“I completed the Foster Learning Leadership course and it focused on how to engage in difficult conversation topics, best managerial leadership practices, how to properly delegate and really hone in on my decision-making, team building and planning skills,” Gibson says.

He earned the Aviation Maintenance Never Events Certification and received the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport Recognition Award. Gibson also completed the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Outreach Training Program and AEA Safety Management Systems Employee Initial Training.

Gibson says he strives to keep his management style straightforward and to the point, which helps him manage a variety of personalities and adapt to each person as needed. He maintains an open-door policy. But while approachable, he prefers not to “sugarcoat” his communications because safety is the top priority for his team and customers.

“With frequent and ongoing changes in policies and procedures at Banyan and on a national level, it is challenging to keep the whole team updated,” Gibson says.

Drafting a new training manual with a complete ERP helped him develop communications skills, he says. Because Gibson manages five on-the-job trainers, he has to ensure that communication is flowing through those team members to other personnel in the line service department. “I try to meet with them, usually, on a daily basis. We go over what they train, and then we can go back and forth on new industry practices that we have,” Gibson says.

“Usually at 2 p.m., we have a line service huddle. We talk about the hot topics we have for today,” he continues. “Every other week, I have a one-on-one with that trainer. Then every month I have an on-the-job trainers sessions with those five individuals.”

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