Air Cargo Management

Global consultancy HKA strengthens aviation capabilities with GMR Aviation Consulting acquisition

HKA, a global consultancy which specialises in risk mitigation and dispute resolution, has acquired GMR Aviation Consulting (GMRA), a specialist firm providing consulting and training services to both the civil and military aviation sectors globally.

Based primarily in the UK, GMRA’s clients include some of the world’s largest global aeronautical companies, as well as medium- and small-sized businesses and entrepreneurial boutiques.

“Adding the combination of the HKA brand capabilities in Forensic Technical Services, with GMRA’s in-depth expertise in aviation consulting, is an exciting start to 2023,” said HKA’s regional CEO, EMEA Amanda Clack. “At HKA we always want to continue to provide leading consultancy advice in risk mitigation for our clients across the globe, and this team provides a welcome addition to our specialist capabilities in this area.”

HKA said the acquisition of the specialist business brought a new area of capabilities and expertise to its Forensic Technical Services (FTS) practice, allowing the firm to extend its service offering to existing and new clients specific to the aviation legal sector. HKA’s new aviation technical expert capabilities will also complement its existing commercial damages practice, which provides services to the aviation disputes market.

Lloyd Watson, a former Royal Navy helicopter pilot and aviation operations leader with over 35 years of experience in both military and commercial aviation, joins HKA as technical director, aviation and space technical division lead. He has been the safety director for a global petroleum organisation, has instructed at flight academies and has worked in airline flight planning, air displays and a wide variety of military operations. He is an expert in operational risk assessment and safety.

“We are incredibly proud to be joining HKA, the leading global consultancy in risk mitigation and dispute resolution,” said Watson. “We have worked hard to provide an exceptional service to our clients and the HKA brand now enhances our capabilities and provides the opportunity to expand our customer base from regional to truly global.”

Simon Dean McCarroll joins HKA as technical director. He is an airport operations leader with over 25 years of experience both as an airport client and as a consultant. He is an expert in aviation facilities planning, terminal design and airfield simulation, to financial astuteness and operational control. McCarroll has undertaken more than 20 technical due diligence projects, advising major investors on the purchase of aviation assets.

Ross Priday, a senior military leader and aviation engineering leader by background, joins HKA as technical director. He is a qualified safety professional, strategic programme manager and flight test engineer. A former chief engineer for the Red Arrows display team, Ross draws on over 30 years of experience in the aviation sector to advise clients on how to improve safety, organisational and human performance. He is an expert in incident analysis and investigation, along with error management, specialising in risk assessment, controls and barriers.

Gerry Brannigan, partner and head of Forensic Technical Services, said: “The mission at HKA is to help our clients access the world’s very best experts, those with a proven track record in bringing credible and demonstrable depth that makes a difference.

“Aviation-related disputes are on the rise, and with the acquisition of GMR Aviation, HKA now has an unrivalled portfolio of some of the very best global aviation experts which will bring real value to our clients.

“This strategic acquisition reaffirms our commitment to expanding our business by targeting leaders in our markets alongside sustained organic growth. We are delighted to further enhance the value HKA offers to clients with the talented team at GMR Aviation.”

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