Risk and safety have always been important considerations in civil aviation. This is particularly so under current conditions of continuous growth in air transport demand, frequent scarcity of airport and infrastructure capacity, and thus permanent and increased pressure on the system components. There is also the growing public and operators' awareness of these and other system externalities such as air pollution, noise, land use, water/soil pollution and waste management, and congestion. This paper offers an assessment of risk and safety in civil aviation. It deals with general concept of risk and safety, describes the main causes of aircraft accidents and proposes a methodology for quantifying risk and safety.
Society faces important challenges in how best to manage modern technology. There is a need to efficiently and safely use and manage existing technologies; and then how to make progress by introducing new technologies. Introducing new technologies is usually expected to provide social benefits through improved efficiency and safety. There is, however a need for care and awareness of the negative impacts of any technology on the environment, in its broadest sense, that can offset at least some of the gains from modernization and the introduction of new innovations. Optimization involves the assessment of such risk and ultimately the setting of standards to maximize society's utility from new technologies. (Braitwaite, G.R., Caves, R.E. and Faulkner, J.P.E., 2006)
Improving safety has emerged as a growing area of interest in the field of operations management. For example, operations managers at industries such as Boeing and Allied Signal have listed safety as one of their operating priorities (Braitwaite, G.R., Caves, R.E. and Faulkner, J.P.E., 2006). It is important to research safety and assess the impact of government safety programs in the field of operations management, both in manufacturing and service sectors. This paper highlights the need for more emphasis on safety program assessment. We focus on the aviation industry, a particularly pertinent example. While prior studies have focused on the operational effectiveness of various airlines and airports (Braitwaite, G.R., Caves, R.E. and Faulkner, J.P.E., 2006)few have assessed the efficacy of government airline safety programs. The assessment of a government intervention program involving pilots who receive alcohol-related motor vehicle convictions has implications to the flying public, airline companies, and to policy-makers. Alcoholism, perhaps manifested in alcohol-related motor vehicle convictions, is a risk factor in airline safety. Prior research has demonstrated a clear link between convictions and pilot-error aviation accidents (Braitwaite, G.R., Caves, R.E. and Faulkner, J.P.E., 2006). For airline companies, the issue of pilots with alcohol-related motor vehicle convictions and their relationship to aviation accidents is akin to that of service quality. An aviation accident can be viewed as the ultimate service failure. Airline passengers expect 100% accuracy when it comes to safety. Policy-makers are concerned with improving existing programs and developing intervention strategies to ensure passenger safety. The analysis of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) handling of pilots with alcohol-related motor vehicle convictions has obvious implications to ...