IATA has urged aviation safety stakeholders to
reinforce their commitment to a safety framework based on global
standards, cooperation and dialogue, and effective use of data.
"Safety is the top priority for all involved in
aviation - and aviation is the safest form of long-distance travel.
Last year there were over 40 million safe flights. That’s an
achievement that we can all be proud of. And it was made possible
by a framework that incorporates respect for global standards,
cooperation and the value of data," said Alexandre de Juniac,
IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Speaking at the IATA Safety and Flight
Operations Conference in Seoul, de Juniac
identified air accident investigations as a key area where greater
cooperation on global standards is needed:
"Global standards exist, but they are not being
applied universally. The investigation process is one of our most
important learning tools when building global standards. However,
a recent study showed that of the approximately 1,000 accidents
over the last decade, accident reports were available for only
around 300 of them. And of those, many had room for improvement.
To learn from an accident, we need reports that are complete,
accessible and timely. We also need states to fully respect the
standards and processes enshrined in global agreements for
participation in the investigation by all specified parties," said
De Juniac also called for increased dialogue
between regulators and industry to ensure that industry experience
and know-how is incorporated into new regulations and standards.
"We have a common interest in safe and secure
flights. Yet last month the US and the UK announced that large
electronic devices would be banned from passenger cabins on some
flights from the Middle East and North Africa. There was no
consultation with airlines and the measure challenged public
confidence with inconsistencies, while the safety concerns over
concentrations of lithium batteries in the aircraft hold have not
been adequately considered or addressed. The learnings from this
are many - governments need to share information, they need to
consult with industry, and they need to support the International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as it develops a global
aviation security plan."
Turning to the use of data to improve safety, de
Juniac urged speed and innovation.
"The data generated from the 100,000 safe
flights each day can help us understand where the next threat or
challenge may arise. We need to move ahead in this area with
speed. The IATA Global Aviation Data Management program (GADM) is
vital to our future. It includes data from more than 470
organizations. Information provided through IATA’s Flight Data
eXchange program, a component of GADM, already is helping to
identify potential hazards through the analysis of de-identified
aircraft flight recorder data."
Another area where more data is needed involves
the use of drones around airports and their potential hazard to
"The great majority of drone owners operate
their devices responsibly, but it is also the case that the number
of incidents is rising. There is significant work being developed
at ICAO to produce standards for the larger drones that are
equipped to share the airspace with manned aircraft. However, we
need to ensure that the smaller drones, whether intended for
recreational or commercial use, are kept out of airspace used for
approach and landing operations of air transport.
"A framework of data, dialogue among all
stakeholders and global standards will help to ensure that we are
able to take advantage of the great opportunities presented by
drones, with no degradation in system safety or efficiency," said
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