Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme
Simon Oldfield is the current Director of the UK Airprox Board. He caught ‘the aviation bug’ at an early age and first learned to fly as a glider pilot with the then Air Cadets (now RAF Air Cadets). After a brief period in the insurance broking industry, he joined the Royal Air Force in November 1985 as an avionics technician. Working on and around aircraft, his desire to fly grew ever stronger and so he applied for officer training and was accepted into Initial Officer Training in November 1990 and then progressed to train as a navigator. Successful graduation from navigator training saw him posted to fly Tornado GR1 bombers in Germany and then onto the Tornado GR4. During his time flying this aircraft he saw operational service in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan and spent time as an instructor and standards evaluator on the Tornado Operational Conversion Unit and amassed around 2500 flying hours, including 3 years spent on exchange with the French Air Force flying the Mirage 2000D (although his French language skills have diminished somewhat since his return to the UK). Following a period as a military advisor to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, he returned to the Tornado GR4 in Scotland as a flight commander before being posted to the headquarters at RAF High Wycombe as a staff officer. Towards the end of his time in the Royal Air Force he was posted to the newly formed Royal Air Force Safety Centre as the Fast Jet Flight Safety subject matter expert. During this time, he developed a passion for the improvement of aviation safety and gained an MSc in Safety and Human Factors in Aviation from Cranfield University; he had his first exposure to the work of the UKAB as a Board member (associated with his primary role). This experience, coupled with the appeal of gaining a greater understanding into the influence of Human Factors in aviation, led him to seek employment with the UKAB at the end of his military career and he joined the UKAB Secretariat as an Inspector in November 2019, promoted to Senior Inspector in April 2021. Following the departure of his predecessor, he took on the role of Director UKAB in August 2022. His continued appetite for aviation has led him to commence his training for a Private Pilot’s License.