People

Helios is an aviation consultancy with a worldwide reputation for excellence and integrity. Combining analytical rigour, strategic context and creativity, we bring a contemporary and comprehensive understanding of the aviation sector to every problem and opportunity we address.

Only through the quality and leadership of our people are we able to deliver this service. Meet some of our senior staff below.

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Claire Davies

Claire is CEO of Helios, combining executive responsibilities with ongoing strategic consulting. She has supported clients across the ATM sector with developing business strategies and policies, producing investment cases, undertaking procurement activities and market studies. Claire is also experienced in applying future techniques such as scenario planning to address long-term business uncertainties. Claire leads our work for the European Commission's Industry Consultation Body (ICB) and has an excellent knowledge of the latest developments in ATM and the Single European Sky. Her clients have also included ANSPs across Europe as well as COOPANS, EUROCONTROL and SESAR.

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James Hanson

James is a director of Helios and strategy director for all Egis' work in aviation. In addition, James also advises ATM stakeholders, in particular air navigation service providers. His work focuses on delivering improvements in ATM, through technical, strategic and regulatory support to service providers, industry suppliers and investors. James' expertise includes the deployment of innovative new technologies including remote/digital towers and space-based ADS-B. His industry knowledge has led to him advising governments, institutions and private sector clients looking to provide services and investment into the ATM sector. This work has included market liberalisation studies, competition analysis, due diligence, and commercial strategy development.

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Mark Scott

Mark is a director of Helios and a highly-experienced consultant to the aviation industry. He combines client consulting with operational responsibilities for Egis' aviation businesses. Mark has an excellent understanding of European air traffic management and the developments involved in the ongoing implementation of the Single European Sky. Mark leads our work on ATM performance, including studies for ANSPs, airports and regulators, the benchmarking of ANS provision and performance measurement, planning and assessment. Other specialisms include developing cost-benefit analyses relating to the implementation of new technology and operational initiatives across the aviation industry.

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Alan Corner

Alan combines director responsibilities for strategy, products and sales across Egis's aviation businesses with oversight of our Middle East office where he leads our work for governments, regulators and service providers across the Middle East and Asia. A former air traffic controller, Alan joined Helios following a successful career in the Royal Air Force where he was responsible for ATM/CNS capability development and strategic planning. Alan is an experienced consultant and programme manager. He leads projects for a broad range of clients reviewing business strategy, undertaking safety and risk assessments and providing technical and economic analysis to achieve business and operational change.

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Ben Stanley

Ben is a director of Helios with world-wide experience helping air navigation service providers, airports, airlines and government institutions to drive transformation in their own operations, businesses and across the industry. He has applied knowledge in risk, aviation operations, performance, business strategy, financial planning, and technical systems.

Ben has recent experience advising on large change management programmes. He is trusted by clients to understand issues and develop resilient and well-accepted solutions. He has worked on multinational projects focused on performance benefits and individual operational concept areas. Ben holds a Warwick Business School MBA, is an experienced trainer, speaker and facilitator, and is a pilot.


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Mike Shorthose

Mike is a highly respected adviser to the aviation industry and its investors. Early in his career, Mike developed a technical specialism in the design, standardisation and implementation of aviation technology and surveillance systems. Since then his work has spanned a wide range of aviation issues including business advice on the planning and execution of large air traffic control projects, organisational change and cost benefit analysis. An important focus of his recent work has been the culture change and cooperation necessary to implement Single European Sky legislation. His expertise in economic and policy areas has also led to advisory roles with many banks that fund investments in air traffic management. A founder and former chairman of Helios, in 2018 Mike moved to a consultancy role in the business.

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Nick McFarlane

Nick is a long-standing consultant to industry, government and non-governmental organisations in aviation. Nick has an engineering background and has spent time during his early career seconded to Eurocontrol in Brussels, NATS in the UK and Luftfartsverket (LFV) in Sweden. For these organisations he worked on the introduction of new technologies into ATM operations, including their business cases. His technical, operational, and commercial know-how has been used to design, assess and introduce many new aviation systems.

Today Nick primarily provides operations, policy and investment advice in ATM and airports. He also supports aviation regulators and governing institutions in policy matters. A founder and former CEO of Helios, in 2018 Nick moved to a consultancy role in the business.

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Philip Church

Philip is a director of Helios, an avionics engineer, and award-winning consultant who for the past 20 years has focused on the introduction of new technologies supporting safety and operational improvements. He has wide experience with aviation stakeholders across all areas of ATM/CNS, including project management, technical specifications, safety assessments, cost benefit analysis, market forecasting, training, standardisation and industry support. He specialises in navigation, including GNSS procedures and novel ATM concepts. Increasingly, he is working on using advances in technology and operational concepts to enable airspace optimisation and integration of all airspace users.


Philip is also active in an industry-led RPAS Focus Group with the goal of achieving integration of UAS within civil airspace. He is a keen UAV hobbyist and is currently studying to achieve his long-held ambition of a pilot's license.

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Juraj Jirku

Juraj is a Director of Helios with extensive experience in economic and financial modelling for regulators, service providers, airports and States creating FABs. He has assisted with the evaluation of individual ANSPs' plans for modernisation of their technical infrastructure and assessed potential operational benefits of ATM projects. He has also advised the EBRD and EIB on loan assessments for a number of European ANSPs. Juraj leads the Helios FAB CE programme support office and heads up our Slovak office.

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Jan Bjorn Schomann

Jan-Björn is an economist with over 16 years' management and consulting experience in the aviation industry. At Helios, Jan-Björn has worked with air navigation service providers, regulators and financial institutions to improve the performance and regulatory context of air traffic management in Europe. He also helped a major airport with its environmental strategy.

Earlier in his career, Jan-Björn worked with a leading travel technology provider, helping airlines and airports to deliver their commercial and operations strategy. He delivered workshops on airline economics and IT strategy to different audiences. He also has hands on experience in network planning, scheduling and traffic rights from working at an airline.

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Garyth Lofthouse

Garyth has 32 years' aviation experience, beginning as a recreational pilot, then an air traffic control officer (civil and military license holder) and latterly providing consultancy. During his ATCO career he worked in Tower, Approach and Area radar units at several airports within the UK and overseas, including a tour at the London Air Traffic Control Centre. Garyth has in-depth knowledge of national and international air traffic control regulations, allied to a wide-ranging experience of airport management issues including air navigation service provision, airspace design and optimisation, airport design and development, and airport safeguarding.

He is a trained instrument flight procedure designer with a detailed understanding of the construction of instrument flight procedures.

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Rob Williams

Rob has over 22 years' experience delivering projects throughout their full life cycles from large scale data analysis through to operational problem solving and stakeholder management. He has worked on airports, airspace and airlines within process engineering, operational research and airport development roles. Rob is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and APMP certified.

Prior to joining Helios, Rob worked at Heathrow as Operational Research Manager and as a Senior Process Engineer covering most areas of the airport. He has also worked as a consultant across a wide range of industries.

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Ivan Baruta

Ivan is an experienced aviation professional focusing on complex airspace change studies and multi-stakeholder projects, particularly in the Middle East region.


Ivan has led the definition of the common upper FIR for the States of the Gulf Cooperation Council and supported the air navigation service providers in the region with multiple studies spanning from airspace master planning, through operational assessments, to business cases. Ivan is a versatile consultant, which is demonstrated by his contribution to a number of airport-related projects in the Middle East region, such as the recent development of standard operating procedures for the new Jeddah airport, as well as earlier support across many focus areas for Dubai International Airport.

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Ben Bouzon

Ben has been working with regulators and ANSPs for the best part of a decade. An experienced project manager, Ben has an interest in ATM policy and its relationship with technology. Going beyond pure regulatory compliance, Ben thrives on helping ATM stakeholders understand the impact of regulations on their environment, and the opportunities it creates. He leads Helios' support to the NSA Coordination Platform (NCP), helping authorities share experiences of their oversight practices and processes.

Ben is also a safety expert, drawing on his background as an avionics engineer to facilitate the definition and implementation of new concepts and technologies. He is currently advising AEROTHAI on the development of the safety case for their new nationwide ATM system.

Ben's clients have included the European Commission, Eurocontrol, Avinor, NATS and Skyguide.

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Isabel Franke-Chaudet

Isabel has extensive experience in helping stakeholders drive change in the ANS domain. Isabel specialises in business strategy, strategic support, procurement, technical systems with a rich understanding of the future scope, regulatory and policy aspects of aviation. Within this Isabel has assisted European ANSPs in developing their future strategy, investment plans and has also carried out strategic reviews of RP2 performance and preparation for RP3.

Isabel has provided strategic support to the COOPANS alliance, investment planning for UkSATSE and support to Skeyes (formerly Belgocontrol) in the development of their Airspace vision as well as the review of their operational requirements. Other clients include the ICB, SDM and the EBRD.

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Gary Lloyd

Gary is an ATM systems engineer and business performance specialist with 17 years of international programme management experience in the aviation industry. During 12 years with NATS he was accountable for the design and operation of infrastructure systems at the UK's largest ATM centre, then managed a SESAR JU engineering team designing the flight data processing system iTEC in Madrid. He jointly founded NATS Middle East while delivering airport safety management systems, airspace design and tower transition projects to ANSPs and OEMs in Oman and Qatar. Before joining Helios, Gary spent two years leading the aerospace service line of management consultancy Newton Europe and developed his commercial and operational consulting experience in a range of other UK industries.

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Andy Boff

Andy is the lead consultant for cybersecurity at Helios, and also guides data management and system engineering projects. With 15 years' experience in the aviation industry, Andy understands technical engineering management, critical systems project management and cybersecurity leadership. Andy has pioneered the introduction of modern cybersecurity standards into operational environments – including ISO 27001 certification of operational ATC systems at NATS. He is recognised internationally as an expert in operational cybersecurity, and is a member of the Leadership Team for EUROCAE's Security Standards Working Group, and holds both CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker, technical) and CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional, managerial) certifications. Andy maintains a balance of both technical and managerial cybersecurity skills, helping Helios to deliver security consultancy across the entire operation from Board level through to individual systems. He regularly works with ANSPs across Europe and aviation organisations across the world.

Beyond the aviation domain, Andy helps deliver cybersecurity improvements for other Critical National Infrastructure industries and assists the wider Egis Group with managing and improving their cybersecurity defences and recovery plans.

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Richard Derrett-Smith

Richard is a highly regarded safety and reliability consultant with 20 years' experience across safety-critical industries, notably aviation and nuclear. Richard specialises in leading complex technical projects and blends deep technical skills in risk and safety management with advanced project and people management skills to deliver technical projects on time and on budget. Richard is a risk management professional with a passion for using risk management techniques to deliver tangible benefits across safety, security and resilience disciplines in an integrated fashion.

Richard has worked for aviation organisations across Europe and the UK and is recognised for his contributions to the CANSO CyberSafety Task Force. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and is a serving council member of the Safety and Reliability Society.

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