Sept. 16, 2022
New technologies are making aviation smarter, more predictive and ultimately safer. That’s the message experts delivered Sept. 15 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Aerospace Summit in Washington, DC.
NBAA, which participated in event, is leading in the adoption of new technologies and is encouraging its members to employ systems that share data, offer insights, and drive better outcomes. The association, which views its most important responsibility as advancing safety and fostering development of industry safety best practices, noted that its ongoing commitments to safe operating practices has resulted in the industry achieving a level of safety comparable to that for the commercial airlines.
“We’re looking at advanced data analytics where communities can generate information, share information amongst each other, and become safer going forward,” said NBAA Chief Operating Officer Christopher J. Rocheleau. “The collaboration piece – the information sharing, the incident sharing, through different bodies – has really made a difference.”
Dan Elwell, former deputy and acting administrator of the FAA, pointed to the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program, which furthers the open exchange of safety information to continuously improve aviation safety, as a key component of predictive safety.
“All the different pipelines of data that we collect, we analyze that data, we look for trends, we present it to the industry, we come up with mitigations,” he said, “That’s what predictive safety is.”
ASIAS is just one component of the business aviation industry’s commitment to improving safety, which also includes employing new technology that is coming to market, from enhanced vision systems to 3D weather.
Rocheleau noted that NBAA is looking beyond aircraft that are just coming off the manufacturing line to employ these technologies and is seeking ways to retrofit existing aircraft. “We’re looking throughout the business aviation community for opportunities to enhance technologies that are on those aircraft,” he said.
On top of employing new technologies, NBAA is also providing operators training opportunities to help make aviation safer. Key to this effort is NBAA’s annual National Safety Forum, which will take place Oct.18-20, in Orlando, FL as part of the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE).
This year’s event will focus on the top four preventable accident categories: loss of control inflight, runway excursions, controlled flight into terrain, and ground operations and maintenance accidents, as well as two contemporary safety hot topics – aviation mental health and safety management systems (SMS).
Experts at the event noted that autonomy and standardized safety management systems are essential to making business aviation even safer. And as new technologies evolve, including advanced air mobility, collaboration between industry and government will be critical.
“The key to scalable safety management systems is making sure there is an embedded safety culture throughout the operation – from the frontline to the pilot to the CEO – making sure everyone is on board with that safety culture, and then constantly managing the evolution of the SMS of the future,” said Rocheleau.
“We continue to make progress, but at the same time, with new technology coming online, with new trainings, standardized curriculum, and sharing best practices, that’s the way you get to a strong safety culture and good safety management system,” he added.