When it comes to analyzing safety data, FAA might be in database hell

By , Network World |  Big Data, FAA

The FAA said it is currently developing a program to collect and analyze runway excursion data and is drafting an order to set out the definitions and risk assessment processes for categorizing and analyzing the data. However, according to GAO's review of the FAA's plans, it will be several years before FAA has obtained enough detailed information about these incidents to assess risks.

Another challenge is gathering the right data from just a plethora of databases.

The FAA's effort to integrate aviation safety data — what's known as the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) system, which connects 46 safety databases across the industry and has 45 participating airlines — is integrated into the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) process. ASIAS enables better safety information management and data sharing as it proactively extracts from public and non-public data sources, including accidents, incidents, and voluntary reporting. FAA has demonstrated the potential of using integrated safety data to better understand the causes of certain safety events and identify mitigating strategies, the GAO stated.

The GAO report outlines some of the databases the FAA collects data from, which include but are not limited to:

• Database: Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS)

Responsible entity: FAA

Description: Integrates aviation safety data from 46 safety databases and 45 participating airlines

Safety-related data collected: Accidents, incidents, advisory information, aircraft information, statistical data

• Database: Air Traffic Quality Assurance (ATQA) database

Responsible entity: FAA

Description: Contains information recorded by air traffic controller supervisors, support specialists, and managers

Safety-related data collected: Surface and airborne incidents

• Database: Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP)

Responsible entity: FAA

Description: Non-punitive, voluntary safety reporting program for air traffic controllers

Safety-related data collected: Air-traffic controller safety issues, including loss of separation

• Traffic Analysis and Review Program (TARP)

Responsible entity: FAA

Description: Error detection system that automatically captures data on airborne losses of separation

Safety-related data collected: Airborne losses of separation that occur while the aircraft is under the control of air traffic control towers and terminal radar approach controls

• Aviation Safety Reporting System

Responsible entity: NASA

Description: Industry personnel in the air and on the ground (e.g., air traffic controllers, mechanics, flight attendants, and ground crews)

Safety-related data collected: All types of safety events

• National Wildlife Strike Database


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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