FAA Safety Call to Action
Safety is our North star.
We are experiencing the safest period in aviation history, but we cannot take this for granted. Recent events remind us that we must not become complacent. Now is the time to stare into the data and ask hard questions. - Billy Nolen, Acting FAA Administrator
Aviation Safety guides everything we do, which is why reducing surface safety risk remains a top priority. As a result of recent incidents, we are taking a critical look at the U.S. aerospace system’s structure, culture, processes, systems, and integration of safety efforts.
In February 2023 FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen issued a Safety Call to Action with the goal of ensuring that our structure is fit for purpose for the U.S. aerospace system both today and the future.
FAA Aviation Safety Summit
The initial focus was to hold a Safety Summit in March 2023 during which more than 200 safety leaders from across the aviation industry met to discuss ways to enhance flight safety. Acting Administrator Nolen addressed commercial and general aviation leaders, labor partners, and others urging them look at all aspects of their operations with fresh eyes and to “question conventional wisdom” while brainstorming concrete actions to further enhance aviation safety.
During the Summit, breakout sessions centered on commercial operations, the air traffic system, airport and ground operations, and general aviation operations. The industry groups focused on the recent string of incidents for ways to address areas where the existing safety system could be tightened to prevent future occurrences.
The FAA provided a full readout of the Safety Summit breakout panel discussions.
Actions the FAA Has Taken
1. Issued a safety alert with specific recommendations to ensure operations are conducted at the highest level of safety, including changes to procedures or training.
2. Announced additional steps it will take in extension of the daily work put into operating the safest and most complex airspace in the world.
I know that the Air Traffic Organization is ready to work with our colleagues in the offices of Aviation Safety and Airports to embrace this challenge to ensure that our safety system remains effective and resilient. - Tim Arel, FAA Air Traffic Organization (ATO) Chief Operating Officer
3. Formed Independent Aviation Safety Review Team
On April 25, 2023, the FAA named an independent safety review team to further examine ways to enhance safety and reliability in the nation’s air traffic system.
The Safety Review Team will begin its work in May and complete its work by October 2023. After a thorough assessment, the group will present concrete recommendations on how the agency can advance air traffic safety.
What is Next
Surface Safety Industry Day
On Tuesday, June 6, 2023 the FAA will host an industry event focusing on how the agency can enhance situational awareness for Air Traffic Controllers on the airport surface.
The goal of the event is to gain a better understanding of commercially available and production-ready industry solutions and capabilities that could enhance situational awareness in the surface safety environment. The FAA is specifically interested in learning more about cost-effective technological solutions that may be viable for deployment at airports without existing surface surveillance capabilities.
What the Data Tells Us
One of our safety goals is to eliminate all dangerous runway incidents. We use data as a tool to monitor and measure our performance towards that goal. This data visualization shows the last six months of data and a positive, downward trend in both runway incursions as a whole, as well as the most severe type of incursions (Categories A and B).
While the data shows we are making progress, we remain committed to doing all we can to eliminate all runway incidents. We will continue to share more types of data on all our safety initiatives.