Beginning in FY 04, the Systems Approach for Safety Oversight (SASO) program will begin. This program is designed to provide a common umbrella for safety oversight, using system safety methods, across all of FAA's oversight responsibilities.
Up to this point, all implementation of ATOS will have used progressively improved versions of ATOS version 1.0. Knowledge of better ways to collect and analyze data, evaluate the air carrier's systems, and utilize partnership safety efforts with the air carriers continues to accumulate. Furthermore, Flight Standards is also seeking to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the ATOS system as a management tool. Expanding commitments, constrained resources, and high expectations for attainment of safety goals demand that we "work smarter."
The original version of ATOS, with its roots in the Surveillance Improvement Program (SIP), covers the gamut of the oversight program but still has a high surveillance orientation or "flavor." Current knowledge indicates that the orientation should be more oriented toward certification and continuous validation of that status. ATOS version 2.0 is, therefore, already in the planning stages. This version will take a completely new look at how we view the air carrier, plan, collect, and use data, and prioritize oversight activities for maximum safety benefit. ATOS 2.0 will also further apply modern quality management techniques as an integral "designed in" feature.
Lastly, in the years beyond, we must continue to evolve and adapt. It would be naïve to think that the program will ever be finished or that there can be a "final" version of ATOS. We must continue to learn, to recognize limitations of our programs and changes in the environment, and to apply this knowledge to continuous improvement. ATOS, therefore, will never be "done."