FAA Pilot Program Collects ASIAS Data from GA Operators Near Phoenix

 - June 7, 2014, 12:40 AM

The FAA has launched an Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program for the general aviation community, bringing to the sector a system many operators–from Parts 121 and 135 to GA pilots–are already using. The agency announced the one-year demonstration project on March 28.

In response to GA’s static fatal accident toll over the past five years, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta has identified initiatives that make reducing GA fatalities a high priority. These initiatives include the work of the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GA JSC) and bringing GA operations into ASIAS.

Launched on the basis of recommendations from the GA JSC, which comprises industry representatives and FAA officials, the GA Data Demonstration Project offers pilots operating within 40 nm of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (KPHX) the chance to submit flight data to ASIAS.

The newly formed General Aviation Issues Analysis Team–comprising representatives from the FAA, federally funded research and development firm Mitre and the industry–will disseminate the aggregated data and make recommendations for improving operator safety.

Team member Steve Charbonneau, vice chairman of the NBAA Safety Committee, called the project “a critical first step” toward greater collaboration between GA operators and the FAA to reduce accident rates.

ASIAS has been an enormously successful program for the commercial aviation industry,” Charbonneau said. “It was the foundation of the Commercial Aviation Safety Team [Cast] that set a goal to reduce commercial aviation accidents by 80 percent by 2007–a goal they achieved–through a partnership between regulators and operators to advance safety concepts.”

Participants will submit data to a national database maintained by the University of North Dakota, with the option to hide the operator’s proprietary or identifying information. Flight data management (FDM) tools are already available through many glass-panel avionics systems, and even some mobile apps, as well as from flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) programs and operator-led aviation safety action programs (Asap). The team will also review pilot reports and publicly available information such as weather reports and ATC transcripts.

Mark Larsen, NBAA senior manager for safety and flight operations, said that the Phoenix area’s combination of large pilot populations, a high number of GA airports underlying Class B airspace, several FAR Part 141 training providers and often-favorable weather conditions should provide the FAA with a high number of respondents.