About Aviation 360
Aviation 360 is a new organisation founded in 2019 by Simon Witts - the Founder of Aviation Skills Partnership. It seeks to play its part in assuring the industry's sustainability through facilitating industry to get the right people, training, facilities and outcomes.
Its mission is to re-define aviation as a sector, spark the interest, guide industry and people to the right solution that will fulfil the demand and role requirements.
Simon Witts - Founder & CEO
Simon is a highly experienced transport operations, engineering, regulatory, education, skills & training senior executive with a career spanning all aspects of airline and aviation operations - latterly working across other sectors.
An Executive Director on the Boards of 5 regional airlines, including for British Airways, initially in an Engineering / Technical capacity and latterly responsible for all aspects of airline operations (COO role) he has held all EASA / CAA Regulatory Approvals, including Accountable Manager.
Born west of London and a Graduate from Queen Mary College, University of London in Aeronautical / Electronic Engineering, he also spent 9 years with the UK Civil Aviation Authority in flight test and transport aeroplane certification, including full UK responsibility for the Boeing 777 programme. He started his career with Bristow Helicopters, moving to Racal/Decca in the development, marketing/sales of navigation/mission management systems involving significant worldwide experience. He is a regular conference speaker.
He was most recently Founder & CEO at Aviation Skills Partnership, having created the organisation in January 2013.
Prior to that he was at City & Guilds / ILM Group as a Director creating a new 'direct to business' subsidiary. Prior to this, he created and was then Director of the Training Academy at Flybe - considered by many to be a nationally significant Academy. A GoSkills Board Member/Chairman of the GoSkills Aviation Industry Board, he also established and chaired the Exeter & Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and of the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and a winner of the RAeS Alan Marsh Award. He is a Founding Fellow of the Leadership Fellows of the House of St George at Windsor Castle and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers.
Michelle Merry - Regional Director
Michelle is a highly experienced operations, learning and development, and higher education senior professional with an extensive portfolio career in airline and airport operations and latterly in other sectors.
A Senior Airport Operations Manager initially in an operational capacity with responsibility for Southampton Airport and Terminal 5 and latterly for frontline leadership development and service delivery across Heathrow.
Born in Southampton, she started her career working overseas in tourism, before returning to the UK and moving into aviation. Her career in aviation began in ground handling, before moving into airline operations and later to airport operations. She graduated from Henley Business School whilst working at Heathrow, in psychology, coaching and behavioural change and has coached a number of senior executives and private clients from her own practice in Hampshire.
She is an Associate Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and an Associate Lecturer of Aviation at Solent University. She is the Regional Director -South for Aviation360 and a voluntary partner with the ENGAP UK programme.