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Aviation safety : information on FAA's data on operational errors at air traffic control towers
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Filetype[PDF-81.76 KB]

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  • NTL Classification:
    NTL-AVIATION-Air Traffic Control ; NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Human Factors ; NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Safety/Airworthiness ; NTL-REFERENCES AND DIRECTORIES-Statistics
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  • Abstract:

    A fundamental principle of aviation safety is the need to maintain adequate separation between aircraft and to ensure that aircraft maintain a safe distance from terrain, obstructions, and airspace that is not designated for routine air travel. Air traffic controllers employ separation rules and procedures that define safe separation in the air and on the ground. An operational error occurs when the separation rules and procedures are not followed due to equipment or human error. Data maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicate that a very small number of operational errors occur in any given year on average about three operational errors per day occurred in fiscal year 2002. However, some of these occurrences can pose safety risks by directing aircraft onto converging courses and, potentially, midair collisions. The General Accounting Office (GAO) was asked by Congress to (1) determine what is known about the reliability and validity of the data that FAA maintains on operational errors and (2) identify whether comparisons of operational errors among air traffic control facilities can be used to determine the facilities' relative safety record. The GAO identified several potential limitations with FAA's data on operational errors based on its review of issued GAO and DOT reports and application of best methodological practices. 5 p.

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