National Academies Press: OpenBook

Safety Reporting Systems at Airports (2014)

Chapter: Chapter Seven - Special Concerns

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Page 39
Suggested Citation:"Chapter Seven - Special Concerns ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Safety Reporting Systems at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22353.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Seven - Special Concerns ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Safety Reporting Systems at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22353.
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Page 40
Page 41
Suggested Citation:"Chapter Seven - Special Concerns ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Safety Reporting Systems at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22353.
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Page 41

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39 In previous chapters, information gathered from airport respondents demonstrated that safety data are collected from multiple departments, are often manually compiled and analyzed, and are rarely inte- grated with more than one airport functional area. This chapter presents findings related to preventive uses of safety data, including the value and types of data trending for proactive safety management and the possible future SMS requirement that could improve safety data management and reporting. DATA AND PREVENTIVE USES According to ICAO’s Safety Management Manual Document 9859, various method- ologies for identifying hazards (safety concerns) include both reactive and proactive approaches, for which a reactive approach relies on “analysis of past outcomes or events [where] [h]azards are identified through investigation of safety occurrences [and] . . . [i]ncidents and accidents are clear indicators of systems’ deficiencies” (ICAO 2013). The progression of airport data collection and analysis through use of the reactive analysis meth- odology, based on assessment of collected data, can ultimately lead to a proactive hazard analysis. Specifically, “This new approach is based on routine collection and analysis of data using proactive as well as reactive methodologies to monitor known safety risks and detect emerging safety issues. These enhancements formulate the rationale for moving towards a safety management approach” (ICAO 2013). As a means to investigate whether the assumed reactive data collection approach at surveyed air- ports might be used for more proactive measures, airport staff was asked, “Has [collected] Data Been used for Preventive Measures”; 28 reported “yes,” and seven reported “no,” resulting in 80% stating that some of the data currently collected are or have been used for preventive measures. Respondents were next asked to provide examples or areas that benefited from the preventive data collected and analyzed. Responses included wildlife hazard management; ground handling proce- dures; lessons learned from accident reports; trip, slip, and fall root cause analysis and resolutions; preventive maintenance programs; ground vehicle and pedestrian incident and accident review; FOD reduction; erosion control; installation of stop signs as a result of a formal risk review; ARFF truck maintenance management; compressed air standard operating procedures; and general improve- ments in construction safety through formal SRAs by SRM panels. Specific comments by function (construction, operations, risk) can be found in Appendix A, Table A3. SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, VOLUNTARY REPORTING, AND IMPROVED DATA ANALYSIS The trend to implement electronic voluntary reporting programs in conjunction with air- port SMS programs was also derived from the interviews. As presented in Table 7, of the 20 airports (65%) with formal SMS programs, 13 reported they were installing SMS software, and 49% of all interviewees indicated they were using software as part of safety tracking (see Table 16). As noted previously, within the ICAO Safety Management Manual one of the core tenets of SMS is the shift from reactive to proactive decision making. The use of safety data and reporting as a proactive safety tool plays a significant role in SMS implementation. chapter seven SPECIAL CONCERNS Airport staff are collecting informa- tion that can be used for preventive measures. One of the airport representatives surveyed stated that the implementa- tion of an independent ramp audit, a voluntary program, created a col- laborative relationship (not conten- tious) by focusing on the shared safety goals and objectives.

40 All U.S. airports certificated under Part 139 face a possible future requirement to develop and implement an SMS, which includes a requirement for safety data collection. If additional data col- lection and trending is a future requirement under SMS, it may serve as an opportunity for airport operators to begin a more formal review (or trending practice) of existing data collected. As reported by survey participants, current information may require manual collection, compilation, and review; however, it offers opportunities to contribute to preventive safety activities and more effective safety management through data analysis, trending, and reporting. ICAO provides additional rationale in support of collecting safety data by stating “Data-based decision making is one of the most important facets of any management system. The type of safety data to be collected may include accidents and incidents, events, non-conformance or deviations and hazard reports. The quality of the data that is used to enable effective decision making must be considered throughout [State Safety Program] SSP and SMS development and implementation” (ICAO 2013). Despite the concerns with data protection discussed in chapter six and difficulties in overseeing voluntary data collection programs, airport operators can begin analyzing existing data sources, such as accident, incident, facility damage, health and safety, police, ARFF, EMT, and other safety-related reports, to begin the practice of proactive data review. Initially, especially through a manual review process, the assessment may be difficult or cumbersome. But as data sources and owners are identified and safety information is shared, the review process can be streamlined and incorporated into current operations and could serve as the foundation for future SMS data collection and record-keeping processes. DATA TRENDING AND PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENTS Considering the future use of data in a more formal, proactive practice, respondents were asked how much or how long data would need to be collected to be able to serve in a meaningful way and were asked, “What amount of data (how long of a collection period) was needed to be able to accurately assess trends?” Note that the question was limited to duration and did not include details regarding data retention. As presented in Table 23, a variety of durations were suggested, ranging from 30 days to more than 5 years. Because trending and performance monitoring is a unique science of statistical analysis, the response “it depends” may most accurately reflect the basis of trend analysis in airports. In some cases, only a short period is needed to make observation (e.g., within escalator operations, associated slips, trips, falls can be assessed immediately if a high number or increased number of falls occur). For more complicated or complex operations, longer durations and more data may be needed to establish trends. Specific responses by airport interviewees regarding data collection durations and types of activities measured are located in Appendix A, Table A4. Duration of Data Collection Needed for Trending It Depends 30 Days 6 Months Years More Than 5 Years Don’t Know Respondent count by duration 6 4 2 6 2 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 Respondent percent by duration 17 11 6 17 6 9 3 3 3 3 3 3 17 Summary of durations 17% 34% 20% 11% 17% Year Years Years Years Years Years Years 1 2 2 to 3 2 to 5 3 3 to 5 4 5 TABLE 23 COLLECTION DURATION FOR TRENDING The SMS requirement may serve as an opportunity for airport staff to begin analyzing existing safety data for trending and reporting.

41 Interviewees with existing safety data programs were asked if any trends had been observed to date. Most said they had no identified trends yet from the software programs and were developing metrics based on the information collected. In ACRP Report 19: Developing an Airport Performance- Measurement System, the authors state, “Performance management moves organizations from a pro- cess in which measurement and analytics are used to discover long-term trends to a process that must quickly reveal performance shortfalls and provide corrective action. . . . Modern . . . applications allow information to be presented in whatever timeframe is appropriate (daily, weekly, monthly, and so forth) and to be accessible to the proper personnel, directors, and/or managers so that they not only have an up-to-date view of the current situation, but they can also make data-driven decisions on the latest and most accurate information” (Infrastructure Management Group, Inc. 2010). Recommendations from ACRP Report 19 include the following advice for airport management to begin the process of formal trending: “Start by identifying a baseline, where you are today. Look at trends. For instance, has on-time performance been improving or is it getting worse? Have security violations been declining as well as airfield violations? . . . Then set your long range target to reflect the improvement you plan to make based on your plans, programs, and budgets. Make the targets challenging, but realistic . . . Then work back toward the present to set interim targets for key dates in the interim, for example, the end of each fiscal year. If you are not meeting interim targets, you are less likely to meet long-term targets” (Infrastructure Management Group, Inc. 2010). In the companion guide to ACRP Report 19, ACRP Report 19a: Resource Guide to Airport Performance Indicators, offers a detailed list of performance measurements organized by airport department and also listed as an alphabetical index of airport per- formance indicators. For example, within airfield operations, key indicators presented include closures for adverse weather, FOD (number of items found per inspection), practical hourly capacity, runway clearing time (average for snow/ice), and wildlife/ bird strikes. Related indicators include SRM, specifically runway incursions and air- craft accidents and incidents (Hazel et al. 2011). Data collection sources can be found from all areas of the airport operations. For example, collecting security- related data from an infrared sys- tem can also be used for wildlife management when cameras identify deer within the perimeter fence.

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 58: Safety Reporting Systems at Airports describes safety reporting methods and systems for airports certificated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 139 by assessing current practices, processes, and systems used to collect and analyze safety data and information.

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