Aviation safety is a fundamental objective of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). ICAO is constantly working in close collaboration with the entire air transport community, to further improve aviation safety and standard.
In this article, I’ll guide you through everything you need to know about Aviation Safety. I’ll cover :
- Why Aviation Safety is so important
- What is Aviation Safety
- Importance of Safety in Aviation
- Safety Improvement
- Aircraft Design Consideration
- New technology to enhance safety
- Strategy to maintain Safety in Aviation
- Risk Management
- Hazard Reporting
Why Aviation Safety is so important
To keep passengers and flight crew safe while flying, Safety always comes first. Aviation safety is important because there are lives involved in every operation of aircraft.
Safety must be the number one priority for any airline in all aspects of air transportation. Due to poor safety management in aviation not only damages associated with a single airplane crash but the loss of much valuable human life.
What is Aviation Safety
Aviation safety is a step towards the prevention of accidents and incidents in the aviation industry. In other words, we can say “Safety is no accident”. In fact, an accident or incident is rarely by accident. It betrays many telltale signs during its building upstages that can be easily identified for timely intervention.
An accident is seldom the direct result of a single failure. Invariably, it is the coming together of various causal factors that stack up sequentially and converge into a single point in time, where the last trigger results in the overlap of all failed barriers.
It is usually, an instance of a single error or oversight, that finds unobstructed passage through a string of absent, ineffective, or failed barriers. The idea is to break the link in the chain leading to an undesirable and unsafe outcome.
Importance of Safety in Aviation
Safety is of paramount importance, wherever humans are involved be it home, workplace, or in a vehicle.
In aviation, safety determines the very existence of the industry. Aviation is a complex business and involves the participation of people in more spheres than one.
From the manufacturer, maintenance, ground support, ATC, inflight to the flight crew, and even passengers, every agency plays a role in the safe take off to landing of every flight. This is achieved through an intricate network of procedures that prevent errors and omissions as well as processes that are in place to capture such lapses. People are working around equipment and in conditions that themselves have potential as hazards. This safety entails not only the safe operation of aircraft but also the safety and well being of personnel involved behind the scenes.
Aviation safety is continuously improving. This is made possible by sharing the knowledge of manufacturers, operators, and regulators.
Aviation safety has improved by the collaborative approach of the organizations that are involved in designing and production of aircraft and its equipment, oversight of regulatory requirements, operation of aircraft, Air Traffic Control, and infrastructure of the airport.
This collaborative approach is more effective than regulatory action alone because this continuously advances safety in all aspects of the global air transport system.
Identifying safety risks and introducing the best practices is an all-in-one solution to improve aviation safety.
Aircraft Design Consideration
Safety is the primary consideration while designing an aircraft. Every aircraft systems vital to the safe operation of an airplane has a backup and more than one backup in some cases. For example, an airplane equipped with twin-engine is designed to safely take off, fly, and land even if one engine fails.
The extra margin of protection is also considered while designing an airplane to allow the pilot to safely exceed the limit in case of an extraordinary emergency situation.
Airplanes are rigorously tested by manufacturers in order to ensure they meet or exceed design standards and certification requirements.
Apart from airplane equipment and technology, manufacturers study and apply human factors to the design of commercial airplanes.
New technology to enhance safety
New safety-enhancing technology has been developed through research, development, and collaboration. These developed sophisticated technologies have helped to improve aviation safety and provide distinct safety advantages.
Glass cockpit, FLY-BY-WIRE, Terrain avoidance warning systems like Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (E-GPWS) and Predictive wind-shear equipment are excellent examples of how technology has made aviation safer.
Glass Cockpit technology provides better visual awareness to the pilots.
Strategy to maintain Safety in Aviation
From a proactive perspective, the best strategy for aviation safety is prevention which can be achieved through various means. One of these is the identification of any hazards before they become risks, and the finest tool for this is reporting.
Improved safety is also a reflection of risk management. The risk management is identifying the problems before they become a significant issue.
We come across hazards in everyday life all the time. It may be riding without a helmet, driving without seat belts, a damaged handrail at home, or deviating from checklists and SOPs at work. Timely reporting of these deviations can break the chain and save serious injury or loss of life.
Each one of us needs to be compliant, vigilant, and sincere in our commitment to not overlook even the smallest hazard that we may come across and to proactively intervene in time and report it immediately before someone gets hurt. We cannot choose to look the other way that someone could be us.
Workplace safety is set in the backdrop of the construction industry. It has a universal relevance especially in our field of aviation. It examines the silent and subtle escalation of errors and violations towards an accident and how there is potential for its prevention at every stage of escalation.
Let us pledge to be safe from harm to us, and to those around us – at work, at home, or in transit between the two.
What next for safety in aviation ?