International Federation of Airworthiness. Promoting AirworthinessInternationalImpartial
International Federation of Airworthiness. Promoting AirworthinessInternationalImpartial

John Saull Memorial Lecture 2023

14th November, 2023 @ 4:25 pm GMT Free
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John Saull Memorial Lecture 2023 – ‘Another giant leap for mankind’

The first John Saull Memorial Lecture will take place on Monday 20th November in the DARTeC Passenger Experience Lab, Cranfield University, Bedford, UK, the event will also be streamed live and recorded.   The memorial lecture is presented by Cranfield Univeristy in recognition of John’s long term role as Chair of the Cranfield College of Aeronautics Alumni Association (CCAAA).

We are pleased to announce that the inaugural lecture titled ‘Another giant leap for mankind’ will be given by Padhraic Kelleher, President of ICAO Air Navigation Commission.

IFA is supporting Cranfield University in organising the lecture.   Please register your free place to attend/support this event.   Those attending in-person, refreshments will be served during the afternoon.  Anyone wishing to attend online please click the box when registering and a link will be sent by email enabling you to participate.


Padhraic Kelleher, President , ICAO Air Navigation Commission

Padhraic is the current President of the ICAO Air Navigation Commission. As President of the ANC, he leads the Commission’s work on the development of ICAO’s global plans for safety and for air navigation capacity and efficiency as well as the Standards and Recommended Practices annexed to the Chicago Convention.

Before joining the Commission, Mr. Kelleher served for 25 years with the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority, where he was appointed Head of Innovation, Strategy and Policy and Head of Airworthiness, among other leadership positions. He also held leadership and senior technical advisory roles with other UK and European safety oversight bodies spanning civil and military aviation and the regulation of space launches.

Mr Kelleher began his career as a civil aircraft flight test engineer. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the National University of Ireland, a Master of Science degree from Cranfield University, and qualifications in management and corporate leadership from the University of Salford and from the Institute of Directors. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and was awarded the IFA Whittle Safety Award in 2010 in recognition of his leadership in the co-ordination of international solutions following the eruption and ash cloud from Icelandic Volcano, Eyjafjallajokull.

Life and work of John Saull

John Saull was born in Hale, Cheshire in 1935, and educated at Altrincham Grammar school. He took an early interest in civil aviation, working for a small aerial photography and charter company at Ringway (Manchester) airport, where he spent his leisure hours working on the aeroplanes and flying in them whenever to opportunity arose.

After leaving school, he took an Aeronautical Engineering Apprenticeship at A.V.Roe, Manchester, which he completed in 1958. During this period he worked on Vulcan bomber production including some flight testing, and space projects. He subsequently became the first technical representative on the AVRO 748 commuter aircraft and went to Argentina in 1961 on board the first aircraft for the national airline, based in Buenos Aires.

By 1963, John had been invited to join the Air Registration Board (ARB), the UK airworthiness regulator. Cranfield College of Aeronautics was John’s next venue where he obtained an Air Transport Engineering degree and took the “unmissable” opportunity to obtain his Private Pilots Licence flying Auster aircraft, one of which he has co-owned for some 30 years.

In 1966, John moved to Bristol and took the responsibility for the oversight of the construction standards of the supersonic airliner, Concorde. John found the work on Concorde fascinating, it took him to all the UK manufacturing plants and to the French assembly line in Toulouse, on regular liaison visits.  He was involved with the development of the aircraft from initial build of the prototypes through to airline route proving and made several flights during this time.

His next assignment was in Trinidad, West Indies, where he took up the management of a team of UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) airworthiness advisors to the Directors of Civil Aviation in many of the Caribbean islands, effectively from Guyana to Belize, which followed UK regulation standards.

John Saull presenting the 2010 Whittle Safety Award to Padhraic.

John held several senior positions with the CAA, finally retiring as head of operating standards in late November 1995, after 32 years as a safety regulator.

He served as a member of the Council of the Royal Aeronautical Society and was a Liveryman of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators. He continued his flying and aviation technical safety work as Executive Director of The International Federation of Airworthiness for 20 years. John also co-authored two published technical books on the safety record of technological industries.


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14th November, 2023
4:25 pm GMT
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DARTeC Passenger Experience Lab, Cranfield
College Road
Cranfield, MK43 0AL United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1234 750111
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