The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) last week lists two aviation issues as top priorities for 2014 in the latest audit released by the office of its inspector general (IG). The DOT will focus on improving the FAA’s industry oversight and operations within the national airspace system (NAS), while also identifying and addressing what it views as root problems in the decade-old NextGen program.
AINsafety » December 23, 2013
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is partly shifting responsibility for compliance with its operational safety audits (IOSA) to airlines themselves under the new enhanced version of the program (E-IOSA). According to Giancarlo Buono, IATA’s regional director for safety and flight operations in Europe, the E-IOSA process will require operators to continuously monitor their own compliance with the IOSA standards, but IATA itself will still conduct the current biennial “snapshot” audits.
One man and his team think they may have an answer to the problem of over-reliance on automation by pilots who are insufficiently trained to handle an aircraft when the technology falters.
The European Cockpit Association (ECA) praised as “a strong commitment to safety” last week’s decision by the European Parliament and its transport committee to develop a new incident-reporting system. The airline pilot’s union said the new legislation ensures a “just culture” with better protection of the safety incident data, the reporter and all the people involved, while also creating a comprehensive framework for collecting, storing and analyzing relevant safety incident data.
The Russian parliament was presented with legislation last week to allow Russian airlines to begin hiring foreign pilots to meet an expected shortfall in experienced crews. Currently only Russian citizens may fly Russian airliners. The move comes just a month after the crash of a Boeing 737 at Kazan Airport, 450 miles southeast of Moscow, in which it appears the pilots lost control of the aircraft, killing all 50 people on board. Shortcomings in crew qualifications have already been cited as possible factors in that accident.
The National Business Aviation Association says there will be no FAA E-STMP air traffic slot requirements for any of the Rocky Mountain airports (including Aspen/ASE, Eagle/EGE and Rifle/RIL) during the coming Christmas and New Year holiday season. Parking reservations will not be required, but the group emphasizes that booking a slot is highly recommended because capacity at the airports has not been increased for the busy period.
IATA says air carriers that participate in its operational safety audits (IOSA) had a 62 percent better accident rate than non-IOSA airlines through November 2013. Worldwide, about 65 percent of all commercial flights operate under the IOSA umbrella, including those of 149 airlines that are not IATA members, representing nearly 84 percent of the world’s air traffic. In Africa, which has the highest accident rate by region, only 14 percent of accidents involved IOSA-compliant operators.
An investigation is under way into the December 17 crash of a Premier I business jet shortly after takeoff from Atlanta Fulton County Airport. The crew told ATC they had a problem and were returning to the airport when, during the turn to final approach, the aircraft crashed, killing the two people aboard.
A December 15 Air France flight was held on the ground in Venezuela after French intelligence officials received a credible tip that a bomb would be detonated when the flight was over the Atlantic between Caracas and Paris. An extensive search of the Airbus A340 found no explosive devices and the flight was allowed to proceed.
After strong opposition from AOPA, EAA and NBAA, the FAA announced last week that it is reconsidering its decision to move forward with mandatory sleep apnea testing for pilots and air traffic controllers without seeking stakeholder participation. Opponents of the move have criticized what they view as arbitrary medical standards for the proposed testing.