With the growing popularity of e-mail, the FAA has developed the Safety Program Airmen Notification System (Spans).
The agency has been producing safety seminars, pamphlets, advisory circulars, videos and other safety-related items for years.
Until recently the FAA relied principally upon the U.S. Postal Service to deliver notices about the availability of these items and information about the dates and locations of these seminars. In a time of shrinking budgets and growing need, however, the post office is far too expensive and slow.
Spans is an easy-to-use Web site that allows the viewer to browse events by local area, regional or national venue. Many users might find it more convenient to register with the site and have select information and safety alerts sent directly to their e-mail accounts.
Since its launch a little over a year ago, the site has had more than seven million hits, averaged some 700 visitors daily and has been the conduit for about 3,500 seminar registrations. As a result, safety program seminars in some areas have seen an increase of 15 percent in average attendance.
Spans is one part of a much larger effort to provide safety information to the public via the Web and e-mail. The FAA also has plans for FAASafety.gov to havea safety library, aviation-related links, online training on safety topics, and a provision to order FAA safety-related publications and materials such as videos, CDs and DVDs.