Aviation Safety

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Aviation Safety

Aviation Safety


The aircraft remains a very safe mode of transport. In relation to the number of routes covered accidents worldwide today even significantly fewer machines than in the late 90s - even though more and more aircraft operate, and thus increases the risk for accidents combined. A particular challenge is to coordinate with the growing number of takeoffs and landings at major airports, so that all aircraft in the air can come back safely to the earth (Sarter, 1994, 23).

The concept of aviation safety includes the theory, investigation and classification of aircraft accidents and the prevention of aircraft accidents by safety regulations, inspections, education and training. It has crucial importance in a particular aspect of flight safety and aviation security, which deals with security in the airspace. External threats can be considered as aircraft hijacking, sabotage and other terrorist motivated attacks or operations. Flight safety is not to be confused with air traffic control. There is a series of precautions taken to ensure the safety of passengers and cargo during flight. Commercial flights are one of the safest forms of transportation. In relation to the distance traveled, the probability of an accident is only one tenth of the safest forms of ground transportation and in terms of travel time has no comparison. Deaths from air crashes around the world are only a third of those killed on the roads of Britain. However, when an accident is often catastrophic and is subject to enormous publicity, often disproportionate (Sarter, 1995, 53).

In the late 1990s, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implemented partnership programs called Aviation Safety Action Programs (ASAP) that provide a regulatory incentive to air carrier and other employees to voluntarily submit reports of violations.

The data generated from ASAP and also from flight data recorders under the Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) program have allowed the FAA and air carriers to proactively look for areas of risk and hazards in a carrier's operation and to more efficiently assign inspector resources in ATOS. Also, reports generated from ASAP and FOQA are being examined by the FAA and industry at the national level through programs such as ASRS and the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program in hopes of identifying risks and hazards at the systemic level.

As the FAA and industry move forward with fully integrating its risk-based approach to aviation safety under its Safety Management System (SMS) program, voluntary safety reporting programs will continue to be an essential source of data in identifying future risks and hazards. These programs are viewed as so essential to aviation safety that following the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 outside of Buffalo, NY, FAA Administrator Babbitt issued a “Call to Action” to carriers who had not yet implemented ASAP and FOQA programs in their operations (Call to Action 2010). The FAA's shift from command and control inspections to its reliance on voluntary safety reporting systems holds valuable lessons for public ...
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