Current Conference 


ABC's Annual Conference will be held September 12 - 14, 2021, at the
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale, Arizona
Make hotel reservations using this link: 


The 2021 Aircraft Builders Council Annual Conference will take place in-person September 12–14 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona. We look forward to seeing our ABC colleagues at this annual forum on the most recent developments in the aviation and aerospace industry and products liability. This event brings together ABC insureds, potential insureds, lead underwriters, brokers and defense counsel, all at one locale. 

View the registration list last updated 29 July, 2021

Caring for conference attendees is our top priority.  The Fairmont is taking extensive measurers to protect and care for hotel guests and follows the most stringent cleaning standards and operational procedures in the hospitality industry. Please see the Fairmont's "All Safe and Well" page for more details including an outline of the attendees' experience from arrival to departure. 

Conference confirmations sent in early September will include safety protocols to follow while in the ABC meeting space. Federal and state guidelines continue to ease and we are anticipating a “nearly normal” event.  Click this link for additional travel and safety information.

Additional Conference Details
Speaker presentations are given on subjects of current interest, including insurance, law, governmental activity, and aviation and aerospace technology. In the past, speakers have included the CEO of Lloyd's, Administrators of the FAA, NASA Astronauts, United States District Court Judges, United States Legislators, as well as experts in the aerospace industry.  An important feature of this conference includes the participation of the program's lead underwriters, who are available for private consultations with insureds and potential insureds, together with their brokers.

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ABC 2021 Annual Conference Speakers

We are delighted to welcome the following speakers to the ABC conference. This year's presenters range from industry leaders and respected aviation safety authorities to high profile risk analysts and engineering experts.

Bruce Landsberg, Vice-Chairman, NTSB
Bruce Landsberg became the Vice Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board on August 7, 2018, making him the 43rd Member of the board.

Prior to the NTSB, Bruce was the Executive Director of the Air Safety Foundation until 2010. He then became president of the AOPA Foundation and Air Safety Institute until he retired in 2014. Under his leadership, the organization received international recognition and numerous awards for promoting light aircraft safety.

In addition to promoting the benefits of simulator training at Flight Safety International, he also developed an airline pilot transition program for first officer candidates through close collaboration with numerous regional airlines.

He served in the U.S. Air Force as a missile launch officer and many government committees promoting aviation safety, including NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System.

Anthony Lawrenson, Director of Business Development, 3UG Autonomous
Having completed a career in the Royal Air Force as a pilot and flying instructor, Anthony Lawrenson is currently a Boeing 777 Captain with a major European operator. Over the last two decades he has designed and delivered courses in human factors, organisational culture, legal command and leadership training. He completed his PhD at Cranfield University where he regularly lectures to the MSC courses in human factors and airline transport management. He is a founder and a director of 3UG Autonomous Systems, a tech-startup specialising in risk analytics for manned and unmanned aviation.

Anthony’s research field covers risk and culture management, human performance with particular focus on decision making. He has lectured and given presentations on issues of human performance, legal liability and organisational culture within the aerospace industry, the aviation insurance industry, the shipping industry, the military and the NHS. Since 2015, he has been developing and conducting specialised training programmes with UK Sport for elite sports coaches in preparation for international and Olympic competition. His clients include head coaches and performance directors in the FA, the RFU, English & Welsh Cricket, the LTA and British Swimming.

Kevin Noertker, Co-Founder & CEO, Ampaire
Kevin Noertker has contributed engineering expertise to stealth aircraft and satellite development programs and contributed to our understanding of the universe as a research fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. An entrepreneur at heart, Kevin is driven to apply the science and engineering disciplines of large aerospace organizations to pressing environmental problems. He views the U.S.’s robust startup culture as an opportunity to direct technological innovation toward people and communities, gaining quick feedback and making rapid progress. Prior to founding Ampaire with Cory Combs, he served as a senior systems engineer at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems working on satellite programs.

Among other accomplishments, he led a team that developed a hardware fix for a key component on the Joint Polar Satellite System, improving NOAA’s hurricane projections from three days to 5-7 days, as well as the supply of other crucial weather data. Earlier, he was an engineer at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems developing low-observable (stealth) technology. He has two patents from this period. As an undergraduate research fellow at JPL, he investigated requirements for a unique robot capable of collecting rock samples in challenging terrain on Mars, Titan, and the Moon. He also analyzed data from the Infrared Spitzer Space Telescope to chart star formation over the last seven billion years.

Kevin graduated with honors from Caltech with a major in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in History. He is a Director of the Caltech Alumni Association.

Mark Searle, Global Director, Safety, International Air Transport Association
Mark Searle joined IATA, Montreal in 2019 where he leads IATA’s effort, on behalf of the global airline community, to continuously reduce aviation incidents and accidents.  Prior to joining IATA, Mark led the UK CAA Safety Strategy Department, with a specific focus on risk management, at both State and service provider level, for the safe integration of new and innovative technologies.  Both roles followed a successful commercial flying career where Mark accumulated 12,000 flying hours.

During his long career in aviation, Mark has been Chair of BALPA, representing the interests of 10,000 pilots operating from the UK, and Chair of Flightcrew Risk Solutions PCC providing Loss of Licence insurance for the global pilot community.

Albert J. Boquet, Ph.D., Professor of Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology,
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Dr. Albert J. Boquet is a Professor of Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Nicholls State University in 1984, his M.A. in Experimental Psychology in 1990, and his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1991.

Prior to joining Embry-Riddle, he served as a principal investigator for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His work at the FAA included research on topics such as shiftwork and fatigue among Air Traffic Controllers and human error in aviation accidents. In particular, he worked with programs such as General Aviation, Helicopter Emergency Services, Air Tour and Air Taxi, in addition to larger commercial operations (FAR Part 121).

He has over 200 publications, presentations, and training series on topics relating to systems safety, human error in complex systems, fatigue, and fatigue management, system performance in healthcare, and the health consequences of stress. He has conducted training for system safety, error management, and fatigue and shiftwork management across multiple industries, including aviation, oil and gas, healthcare, chemical processing, and materials processing.

Michael Staszel, Senior Aviation Surveyor, McLarens Aviation
Michael entered the aviation insurance profession in 2006 as an Aviation Adjuster, Surveyor and Chief Pilot. He was engaged in the investigation, adjustment and supervision of multiple lines of insurance claims including aviation hull and liability, cargo, general liability, premises liability and product liability. Michael brings extensive experience in conducting detailed investigations, appraisals, aircraft, engine and general safety surveys, adjustments and settlement of complex high value property damage and personal injury claims. As Chief Pilot he was instrumental in the safe and economical utilization of company aircraft which provided increased response times and additional client value. Michael has a Bachelors of Science degree in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University. In addition he has an Airline Transport Pilot license as well as single and multi engine flight instructor ratings. Michael is a member of the National Business Aviation Association, member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, a member of the Aviation Insurance Association and a Representative of the FAA Safety Team in the Great Lakes region.

J. Patrick Gallagher Jr., Chairman, President and CEO, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr. is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (Gallagher, NYSE: AJG), a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm. A Fortune 500 company, Gallagher was recognized for the ninth consecutive year in 2020 as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute.

Mr. Gallagher joined Gallagher in 1974 as a Production Account Executive. In 1985, he became Vice President-Operations, and he was appointed to the company’s Board of Directors the following year. In 1990, Mr. Gallagher became President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1995, the Board appointed him Chief Executive Officer and in 2006 he was named Chairman of the Board.

In addition to his leadership roles within the company, Mr. Gallagher is active in numerous industry and charitable organizations. He joined the Board of Trustees of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters in 2003, and is a member of the Board of Founding Directors of the International Insurance Foundation. Mr. Gallagher also serves as Laureate for the 2018 Katie School Hall of Fame, an event held to raise industry awareness and provide financial support for the Katie School of Insurance at Illinois State University. In January 2021 he became a board member for the Northwestern Memorial Foundation in Chicago.  In addition, he is a member of the Advisory Council of Boys Hope/Girls Hope and of the Board of Advisors for Catholic Charities. Mr. Gallagher additionally is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, the Executives Club of Chicago and the Commercial Club of Chicago.
Mr. Gallagher has been recognized for his long-standing commitment to professionalism and to bringing new talent into the insurance industry. In 2007, he was granted Freedom of the City of London by the city’s Lord Mayor in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Lloyd’s insurance market and for his support of the Gallagher Lifelong Learning scholarships. In 2009, he was honored by the Spencer Educational Foundation (affiliated with the Risk and Insurance Management Society) for his ongoing support of the Foundation. In 2013 Mr. Gallagher was named Insurance Broking CEO of the Year by Reactions magazine and in 2019 he received their Lifetime Achievement Award.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University.

Legal Update and Discussion 
This informative panel, composed of industry representatives, will discuss recent legal developments.