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Safety Analysis

Even the safest systems can evolve, but not without a full understanding of inherent risk. ATAC has cultivated the ability to collect disparate data from every imaginable source and apply our unique brand of analysis and intelligence to highlight potential vulnerabilities in aviation system safety nets. We leverage our tried-and-true formula of combining deep subject matter expertise with our technical ability to collect and analyze the right sized data sets. Then we develop business rules and algorithms to study an aviation system and learn in order to root out risk before it causes harm. 

For decades, we have continually produced reports designed to uncover risk and help aviation stakeholders understand not only what occurred in the system and learn from it, but to better understand elements of impending risk in order to alert system managers and operators. In addition to providing daily onsite support to FAA ATO Safety, one particularly relevant endeavor was our Aviation Key Performance Indicator (KPI) project. ATAC applied various techniques including literature review, survey, SME and stakeholder interviews, and data analysis to research specific and quantifiable measures to identify safety risks. Metrics were recommended, and a few were selected as closely related to KPI. We performed statistical analysis with PDARS data to investigate the relationship between selected metrics and leading indicators to the NAS, which can be used as key parameters for aviation safety prediction tool development. ATAC was the key contributor by providing project planning, research, documentation, report generation, data/tools/system analysis, and implementation. The KPI report was cited by the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) Safety Standing Committee.

Another key area of ATAC safety work has been the development of ASIAS for helicopters, or Rotorcraft ASIAS. This effort included research, development, and testing of Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring (HFDM) systems including recording devices and associated equipment to develop installation criteria, data transcription criteria, recording rates, and safety events/indicators. ATAC researched and developed multiple safety metrics such as Proximity to Obstacles, Proximity to Weather, Proximity to Traffic, Risk of Helipad Overrun, Un-stabilized Approach, and Loss of Control, in collaboration with in-house FAA federal and contract support personnel, as well as Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS), Helicopter Association International (HAI), and the MITRE Corporation and delivered the metrics as part of software code in the HFDM repository. ATAC also developed algorithms to determine Helicopter Phase of Flight Identification as well as a full set of FDM parameters, rates, and exceedances.

We stand ready to support continual safety evolution.