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System Safety Management

The System Safety Management portfolio aims to develop and implement the policies, processes, and analytical tools that the FAA and industry will use to ensure the safety and security of the National Airspace System. These resources will be used throughout the FAA to ensure that new capabilities either improve or maintain current safety levels while simultaneously improving capacity and efficiency in the national airspace system. This portfolio currently contains two projects, the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) project and the System Safety Management Transformation (SSMT) project. Together these programs will define emerging safety requirements through a series of activities that include research, analysis, demonstrations, and acquisition needs.


  • Safety

    Uniform safety standards along with risk and safety management practices should be applied systematically to the air transportation system. In implementing elements of the system, safety needs to be assessed against proper criteria, and according to appropriate and globally standardized safety management processes and practices.

Completed Tasks

  • 19 Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) safety enhancements (SE) implemented by FAA/Industry, based upon Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) accident precursor data/safety analysis for Airplane State Awareness, Area Navigation (RNAV) Departures/Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR), and Runway Excursion.
  • Added ASIAS GA operator data analyses results into the ASEMO dashboard.
  • Added Class D airports to the Airport Daily Overview (ADO)/Airport Monthly Overview (AMO) product to enable metrics and studies for General Aviation (GA).
  • Aircraft Misconfiguration Directed Study.
  • Analysis for Summary Information Requests (SIR) related to safety concerns in areas such as Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) alerts in Albuquerque, NM; Thrust Instability Events (TIEs); Air Traffic Organization (ATO) high risk Corrective Action Requests (CARs); and pilot attention management.
  • Analyzed National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) flight data recorder (FDR) data files for seven accidents to support the discovery of similar flight signatures in ASIAS.
  • Built an Approach and Landing Accident Reduction (ALAR) risk model for assessing risk of runway overruns.
  • Completed dashboard for depicting Level 5 weather encounters for flights.
  • Completed evaluation of surveillance and flight data metrics at JFK as a demonstration of an airport construction study approach.
  • Completed the fusion operational prototype and published initial versions of fusion-based risk of mid-air collision and risk of controlled flight into terrain (DFIT) dashboards to the ASIAS Portal.
  • Completed the initial operating capability for fusion analytical interface, which enables the fusion of various data sets to enrich ASIAS data.
  • Completed update for the Information Analysis Team (IAT) on the NASA Multiple Kernel Anomaly Detection (MKAD) study.
  • Conduct Mined data from System Wide Information Management's Terminal Data Distribution System (STDDS) for additional data sets as they became available.
  • Conducted post-implementation safety analysis on DC and Northern California (NorCal) Metroplexes.
  • Configured ISAM for sUAS and conducted sUAS 14 CFR Part 107 rule baseline assessment subject matter expert workshop to support the Department of Transportation's Risk Based Decision Making initiative for rulemaking.
  • Demonstrated capability to process and analyze international data within governance policy and procedures.
  • Demonstration of ASIAS Threaded Track v2.3 via the FAA NextGen Prototyping Network, which is being considered as basis for FAA enterprise access to National Airspace System (NAS) data Risk Based Decision Making (RBDM) catalog.
  • Deployed a vulnerability discovery capability to search for additional, more frequent, precursors by working "backward" from rare (infrequent) known event types or precursors.
  • Deployed enhanced analysis capabilities within ISAM 4.0, including sensitivity analyses (the importance of the base causal, contributory, and circumstantial factors that lead to accidents), barrier analyses — the ability to analyze the relative quantitative impact of increasing the strength of air traffic management (ATM) barriers on safety — and explicit representation of precursors, barriers, circumstantial factors, and induced hazards.
  • Deployed the Unstable Approach tool for National General Aviation Flight Information Database (NGAFID) users, enabling GA operators to analyze their own flights at given airports.
  • Deployed trend/anomaly detection capabilities to find high-risk safety events focusing on commercial operations (those operations covered under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 121).
  • Developed a capability for visualizing fusion-based Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) warning encounters; completed high-level examination of results from TCAS fusion simulations.
  • Developed a surface-event analysis service. This web service enables ATM safety analysts to analyze and assess the causal, contributory, and circumstantial factors that led to runway conflicts detected by the Airport Surface Anomaly Investigation Capability (ASAIC). Conducted proof-of-concept of complete end-to-end safety assessment and performance tracking from anomaly detection through incident review/scoring, mapping to safety models, and safety reporting.
  • Developed a trend/anomaly detection function to automatically find flights with known safety events.
  • Developed and acquired government and industry approval for updated ASIAS Procedures and Operations Plan and new cooperative agreements for routine data-providing stakeholders.
  • Developed and acquired government and industry approval for updated Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) procedures and operations plan, and new cooperative agreements for routine data-providing stakeholders.
  • Developed ASIAC to identify surface-based anomalies for all Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X (ASDE-X) equipped airports, to generate replays of those anomalies, and to provide current and historical airport-level operating statistics and anomaly counts.
  • Developed concepts for barrier representation in ISAM.
  • Developed human performance fault-tree structures for ISAM.
  • Developed initial ISAM web-based platform to help the FAA assess the impact of implementing NextGen operational improvements on safety. This platform included safety model representations, operational improvement data, air traffic forecasts, target level-of-safety (Portfolio of Goals) data, interfaces to allow subject matter experts to assess the impact of operational improvements on safety, and safety analysis reporting capabilities.
  • Developed methods within ISAM 4.0 to automatically query and link the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) database to ISAM's safety model and validated ISAM safety model structures. This uses ISAM's DNA-coding feature and the NTSB' accident and risk analysis event reports.
  • Developed SITAR as an anomaly detection capability that is much faster than real-time track reanalysis, and able to identify any kind of parameter-based anomaly, including loss-of-separation events and candidate-wake events.
  • Developed software to quantify safety models from the top down and the bottom up automatically in ISAM. These quantifiers calculate the frequency or probability of occurrence of causal, contributory, and circumstantial factors represented in ISAM event sequence diagrams, based on diagram structures and known occurrence rates of some factors.
  • Developed Terms of Use refresher training for ASIAS members.
  • Developed the Integrated Safety Assessment Model (ISAM) version 4.0 in tandem with Eurocontrol's Integrated Risk Investigation Service project, sharing methodologies and tools across the agencies.
  • Developed tools to determine flights that have risks for runway overruns, hard landings, stall warnings, bounce on runway, veering-off, and pod strikes.
  • Developed voice data analytical capabilities for analysis of air-ground communication for identified risks.
  • Development of safety metrics for Small GA using the NGAFID data.
  • Development of safety mitigations for departures based on the ASIAS Misconfiguration Directed Study.
  • Enabled NextGen safety analysis by making results available in a timely fashion, with "timely" determined by the specific safety need (e.g., to detect issues after implementing a new procedure) and the ability to monitor and act on NextGen proposed changes.
  • Enhanced SITAR 1.0 to allow completely user-configurable anomaly detection from National Offload Program (NOP) data through a simple rules file, running several hundred times faster than real time for a large terminal radar approach control (TRACON) environment and allowing very rapid development and testing of new anomaly detection capabilities and data filtering.
  • Established a multi-year project plan with Eurocontrol to develop aligned safety risk models.
  • Established a vulnerability discovery process that integrates all the different data-driven capabilities and "tips from the field" to regularly discover and assess potential safety vulnerabilities for reporting back to industry.
  • Established baseline for planning the eventual transition of other ASIAS systems into the cloud.
  • Established capabilities to handle non-standard sources of ASASP data as needed.
  • Established safety baseline for 14 CFR Part 121 and scheduled Part 135 operations within ISAM using a variety of data sources, including NTSB, MITRE ASIAS, Air Traffic Organization risk analysis events, SDRS, Airport Surface Detection System — Model X (ASDE-X), etc.
  • Established user-configurable separation standards within SITAR.
  • Established work plan to use ISAM 4.0 to support FAA's Enterprise Safety and Information Security Division in the Integrated System Safety Assessment (ISSA) process.
  • Finalized Phase I of analysis (Flap 0 events) and discussed Phase II plan (Inadvertent Flap Retraction after Liftoff/Non-zero Flap Movement on Takeoff Roll) for the Takeoff Misconfiguration Directed Study.
  • Fusion Demonstration of the integration of proprietary (Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA), Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP)), and non-proprietary (Radar, Weather) data for development of an enhanced flight story.
  • Implemented System Wide Information Management (SWIM) data ingest processes in support of the FAA NAS Enterprise Repository (NER).
  • Implemented the ability to perform incident analysis and assessment in ISAM. Called "Accident DNA," this feature allows users to associate the specific causal, contributory, and circumstantial factors that led to an occurrence with events and conditions represented in ISAM models.
  • Incorporated first international carrier into ASIAS.
  • Incorporated initial voice data into the ASIAS data set.
  • Ingested A/G audio data from key test facilities, which will provide additional context for incidents and anomalies.
  • Initial ASIAS metrics using fusion data.
  • Integrated geolocation results on Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)-related reports (from Mandatory Occurrence Reports (MORs), ATSAP and ASAP reports) into a prototype UAS dashboard.
  • International collaboration with Regional Aviation Safety Groups (RASG) Pan-America and Asia-Pacific.
  • Issuance of a new FAA Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO), reminding crews to ensure proper flap configuration prior to the takeoff roll.
  • Ongoing support to Metroplex (Pre- and Post-Implementation) and Performance Based Navigation (PBN) programs in redesign of airspace and RNAV routes to reduce known safety issues.
  • Precursor discovery: Identified Wrong Airport Arrivals as possible vulnerability based on a recent event involving an aircraft landing at a nearby airport with similar features.
  • Published the Departure and Arrival Safety Enhancement dashboard (DASEM). This provides CAST or Joint Implementation Measurement Data Analysis Team (JIMDAT) with the capability to monitor the effectiveness of Safety Enhancements 212, 213, and 214.
  • Received agreement from airlines to utilize the native flight data format for FOQA, which will allow flight data analysis to be more efficient and provide better quality results.
  • Safety Enhancement 210 WG: Developed measurements to allow for identifying known undesirable aircraft automation states and characterizing complex mode transitions.
  • Shared aggregate safety-related data with Canadian Operators using a RASG agreement model.
  • Supported deployment of a stable version of threaded track data for FAA use.
  • Tested large-scale processing capability of the ASIAS FOQA system in the cloud.
  • Tested NASA-developed MKAD technique to identify anomalous flights in large data sets.
  • UAS metrics dashboard for reported encounters by pilots.
  • Used the Wake Vortex Safety System (WVSS) version 1.0 to routinely analyze, score, and visualize wake candidates from MORs, Ops, MITRE, NTSB, and other sources through stand-alone and web-based services with visualization capabilities.
  • Using ASEMO, implemented specific safety event overviews for candidate airports and air traffic control.
  • Validated Safety Investigation Toolkit for Analysis and Reporting (SITAR) version 1.0 anomaly detection capabilities through case study with FAA's Traffic Analysis and Review Program. (TARP).
  • Voice data analysis capabilities.
  • Where airline governance permitted, transitioned from a centralized model to a cloud-based service provider for airline data storage and computational resources.

All Information as of August 8, 2018

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