FDM, often referred to as flight operations quality assurance (FOQA), is the analysis of flight data from the onboard data recorder, which allows safety managers to identify hazards and trends of flight operational ‘triggered’ events. There are many benefits to participating in an FDM program. A FDM program can help operators identify, quantify, assess and address operational risk.

Operations

  • Proactive Safety
    • To continuously improve operational procedures and training
    • To monitor for hidden or latent risks to their operation and proactively act on them to prevent them from manifesting into an incident or accident
    • To identify latent hazards that can germinate over time if not monitored
  • Feedback / lessons learned for continuous improvement and focused training
  • Prevent and reduce accidents, incidents and hazards
  • Help ensure regulatory compliance
  • Monitor effectiveness of training
  • Monitor non-compliance and deviations from standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Monitor effectivity/validation of SOPs

Cost Savings

  • Reduced insurance premiums
  • More efficient, focused training
  • More efficient and safer operations, such as optimizing fuel burns through procedural oversight

Maintenance

  • Reduced maintenance troubleshooting time
  • Aircraft exceedances based on defined maintenance parameters
  • Collection of data to obtain a complete picture of the operation, trends and the condition of engines and systems.

Reduced Potential Liability

  • Not having a FDM program, if so equipped, may result in increased liability in the case of an accident or incident. Failing to participate in these programs can be used as evidence that the operator is not participating in efforts to enhance its safety.
  • FDM is a cost of operations. It acts like an insurance policy and is much less expensive than the residual costs of an accident or incident.