Achieving Global Safety Data Aggregation and Processing: The Role of Standards and Data Sharing Platforms

November 2021
Topics: Aviation and Aeronautics, Data Management, Data (General)
Eugene Mwendwa, The MITRE Corporation
Digital map tracking airplane activity across the globe
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When the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was formed, signees agreed to pursue “certain principles and arrangements in order that international civil aviation may be developed in a safe and orderly manner and that international air transport services may be established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically.” The fundamental strategic objective of ICAO to improve safety in civil aviation worldwide has not changed in the intervening 75 years.

In the 2020-2022 edition of ICAO’s Global Aviation Safety Plan, ICAO set a goal of achieving and maintaining zero fatalities in commercial aviation by 2030 and beyond, and continuously enhancing safety performance internationally.

But are we ready on a global scale to monitor flight safety, to integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems and other emerging entrants, and to provide effective and actionable safety intelligence? Will current data and existing curation processes, aggregation, and analytical methods enable us to prevent future accidents? Currently, the answer to each of those questions is no, and there is much work to be done.

So, what is needed for the world to achieve the safety goals ICAO has laid out? For starters, we need to continually improve our understanding of the risk factors that may lead to accidents. Much has been achieved in this area, but to take this understanding to the next level, researchers around the world need to have a common view of global safety data and information and collaborate to make the best use of it.

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