National Academies Press: OpenBook

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues (2020)

Chapter: 3. Research Findings

« Previous: 2. Research Methodology
Page 9
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 9
Page 10
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 10
Page 11
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 11
Page 12
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 12
Page 13
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 13
Page 14
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 14
Page 15
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 15
Page 16
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 16
Page 17
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 17
Page 18
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 18
Page 19
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 19
Page 20
Suggested Citation:"3. Research Findings." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
×
Page 20

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 4 preliminary list of future research needs was developed. An assessment scoring criteria was developed to prioritize the topics included in the list. The results of the work performed during Phase I was summarized in an interim report and presented to the Project Oversight Panel during a face-to-face meeting. During the meeting, the results of Phase I tasks were discussed; the prioritized list of safety research topics was debated and approved; and the means to present the roadmap on the ACRP IdeaHub was agreed upon. 2.2 Phase II Approach In Phase II of the project, the research team drew upon the foundational work of Phase I to finalize a prioritized list of safety research topics, and develop a visual tool to display the topics in an interactive manner to help airport industry users review, comment and support further improvements. This was accomplished in two primary tasks:  Vet Research Recommendations with Airport Operators: The preliminary prioritized list of future research needs was presented to a representative group of airport operators and industry stakeholders by contacting them via e-mail to solicit their input, and by submitting the topics into the ACRP IdeaHub so that industry users might vote and/or comment on the research topics. This vetting was designed to ensure the results of Phase I research efforts were in line with those of the industry and to further calibrate the priorities.  Develop a Visual Research Roadmap. Finally, a means of presenting the roadmap visually via the ACRP IdeaHub was created. The Tableau visualization software platform was used to create the user-friendly tool while keeping the format in line with previously developed ACRP research roadmaps. Ultimately, the information and ideas presented via the visual tool and the topics submitted into the IdeaHub are expected to result in the development and submission of fully developed problem statements for funding consideration. 3. Research Findings The foundational research conducted during Phase I of the project led to some interesting findings that provided a guide to the development of the roadmap. By reviewing the available literature on completed research and ongoing projects, and by surveying airport professionals via telephone interviews and during an industry conference on their experiences and perceptions, a preliminary list of safety topics was constructed setting the table for the final roadmap. 3.1 Literature Review In order to decide on what topics and issues should be included in the research roadmap, an informed understanding of what research had been performed and documented was necessary. Thus, an extensive search of completed and ongoing research efforts specific or related to airport safety was conducted. References identified from various sources, in the U.S. and elsewhere, were reviewed with a wide scope

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 5 looking for products (reports, books, articles) that have to do with all aspects of airport operations and management with a view toward safety improvement or response to safety issues. The focus was to identify ideas or topics that have been touched on and the extent to which they were addressed to identify gaps. This helped determine whether a topic had been covered, if it had been covered to the degree necessary to meet industry needs, or if the research performed was outdated and needed to be refreshed. The bulk of the literature review was initiated by searching the internet and electronic aviation safety libraries using key works a phrases, such as airport safety, airport operations, aviation safety, runway safety, risk management, safety management, airport accidents, aviation accidents, and airport emergencies. Based on initial findings and links, new key words, sources and references were examined. Additionally, a number of aviation and airport stakeholder organizations were contacted to inquire as to the type of airport safety related applied research and guidance references that they had searched to help address specific issues. In addition to ACRP reports and ongoing research, the additional organizations included the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Airports Council International (ACI), Air Line Pilots Association International, Flight Safety Foundation, National Air Carrier Association, American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Eurocontrol and United Airlines. Some of these organizations were also contacted. Many of the responders described that they relied upon the ACRP for research related to airports. The team also contacted two prominent universities with renowned aviation safety programs; the University of Southern California’s (USC) Viterbi School and their Aviation Safety and Security Program; and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). The review covered 203 resources. A listing of the resources reviewed and the safety focus areas addressed in each area is included in Appendix A. Of the resources reviewed and documented, nine were deleted from the list as they were determined to not contain information relating to airport safety or had duplicated research already documented from other sources. 3.2 Airport Safety Research Gap Analysis Following the completion of the Literature Review, an analysis was conducted on the information gathered during the review to consolidate the gaps identified in the research. This analysis began with the categorization of topics covered in the Literature Review and determining how they fell within each of the safety focus areas descried in Section 2. The statistics of this analysis is depicted in Figures 1 and 2. Figure 1 depicts the percentage of the Literature Review resources falling within each safety focus area based on the primary safety topic covered in the document. Twelve of the resources reviewed were deemed to cover multiple safety issues and were thus categorized as General Safety topic. These are not included in the data used to create the figure. The analysis showed that the safety focus areas where the fewest number of published references exist were:

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 6 1. Airport Losses (5%) 2. Terminal Safety Incidents (7%) 3. Airside Driving (9%) 4. Non-Movement Area Safety (10%) Conversely, the majority of the references was focused on the following areas: 1. Runway Safety Areas and Runway Protection Zones (runway safety generally) (23%) 2. Safety Management Systems and Safety Management (18%) 3. Emergency Management (14%) 4. Movement Area Safety (surface movements) (14%) Figure 2 depicts the total number of documents reviewed, including those that addressed two or more of the safety focus areas. The breakdown of where past ongoing research resides was not significantly different than the results shown in Figure 1. Figure 1. Safety Focus Areas Covered in Literature Review Resources.

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 7 Figure 2. Number of Literature Resources Which Address the Safety Focus Areas. The next step in the Safety Research Gap Analysis was to explore the views of the airport industry to check if they held the same views of which airport safety research was lacking or deficient, and which safety focus areas needed greater exploration to aid the efforts of those in the field. To accomplish this, a short presentation and a survey were prepared to support discussions with the attendees at the 2019 ACI/AAAE Safety Management System Workshop in Atlanta, Georgia. The goal of this effort at the workshop was to spur participation and input from the industry in the project, and to survey those in attendance – primarily those serving in safety leadership positions at their respective airports – regarding their perceptions on where research was lacking and in what focus areas they use research products. Having face-to-face discussions with the stakeholders helped the interaction for an in-depth assessment on current gaps, particularly on applied research to develop guidance to the industry. During a scheduled presentation, the project and its goals were discussed, followed by a real-time survey utilizing the survey developed and a polling software. The attendees of the Workshop were asked to respond to the following questions via their mobile devices: 1. Which area (safety focus area) presents the greatest safety concerns/risks to you and your airport? 2. Which area presents the least safety concerns/risks to you and your airport? 3. In which area have you read/used the most research reports/papers/information? Twenty-four attendees participated in the survey representing roughly 15 to 20 different airports. The results of the survey are depicted in Figures 3 through 5.

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 8 The greatest safety concern to the responders (Figure 3) were associated to the Non-Movement Area and Ramp Safety, and represented nearly half of answers by the participants. It was followed by Airside Driving, Movement Area Safety (Surface Activity) and Airport Losses. The other four safety focus areas received no inputs on the survey questions. Figure 3. SMS Workshop Attendee Survey – Greatest Safety Concerns. Regarding which of the safety focus areas hold the lowest level of concern for the Workshop attendees (Figure 4), the responses were more varied. Emergency Management was the most popular response, followed by Airport Losses; with Runway Safety Areas and Runway Protections Zones (Flight Safety), Movement Area Safety (Surface Activity), Airside Driving, and Terminal Safety combining for nearly half of the responses. Figure 4. SMS Workshop Attendee Survey – Lowest Safety Concerns.

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 9 When asked which safety focus area held the greatest amount of research products they had used (Figure 5), Safety Management Systems (48%) was the most frequent response. This made sense given the audience of practitioners in SMS. That combined with Emergency Management (Training/Response) and Movement Areas Safety (Surface Activity) made up almost 85% of the responses. Figure 5. SMS Workshop Attendee Survey – Most Referenced Research Products. 3.3 Identifying Future Research Needs and Priorities Upon completion of the Gap Analysis, the research turned to determining the specific safety issues at the forefront of industry thinking in the field through a series of interviews with a spectrum of airport sizes and types. Key to this effort was a survey of select airports to solicit their inputs on research ideas. The feedback received supported the development of a preliminary prioritized list of safety research topics. An eight-question survey was developed and used to guide the interviews conducted via telephone and teleconferencing. The survey was also distributed via Survey Monkey to gain additional insight and greater detail into the safety issues faced by those in the industry (categorized under the safety focus areas), and provide them with the means to add detail to their responses with open-ended questions. The survey contained the following questions: 1. In which of the following areas (safety focus areas are listed) would research benefit your ability to enhance safety at your airport? (Select a maximum of 3). 2. In which of the following areas are there research products or existing guidance that you believe are outdated or need to be improved? 3. Name and provide details on a significant safety concern you discovered at your airport and had difficulty finding guidance on how to address the issue. (Please select a topic area from the drop- down list and provide details in the comment box.)

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 10 4. Same question as number 3 to allow the respondent to identify more than one safety concern. 5. Same question as number 3 to allow the respondent to identify more than one safety concern. 6. What is the most significant obstacle to improving safety processes and/or enhancing safety performance at your airport? 7. Please provide any additional information or comments you feel would be of benefit to this research project or to enhance safety at airports. 8. Contact Information (Optional) Over 40 responses to the survey were received. The survey responses were mined and analyzed according to the size of the airport the respondent represented (for those providing contact information). The results of this survey according to the safety focus areas for questions 1, 2, and 3 through 5 are illustrated in Figures 6, 7, and 8. It should be noted that the bars depicting the responses for large hub, small hub, and general aviation (GA) airports do not add up to the total number of responses due to a number of respondents neither identifying themselves nor their airport. A summarized analysis of the survey results follows. Figure 6. Airport Online Survey – Research that Would Enhance Airport Safety.

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 11 Figure 7. Airport Online Survey – Research that is Outdated or Needs Improvement. Figure 8. Airport Online Survey – Airport Safety Concerns Lacking Guidance. General Aviation Airports – Key Concerns The top concerns for GA airports were in the research focus areas of Emergency Management, Airport Losses, and Runway/ RSA / RPZ. Regarding Emergency Management, the top concern focused on investments from local rescue organizations acting under the airports’ mutual aid agreements. One airport reported having problems

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 12 getting their Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Fire Department, and local Police involved in airfield accident exercises and/or trainings. The general feeling was a lack of concern or even acknowledging the possibility of an aviation accident occurring. The respondent assumed it could be partially due to complacency stemming from the airport size, and the perceived possibility of an accident occurring at or near the airport. Training evolutions need to be thought of as real-life events so that when it is an actual emergency, responders training and memory will ensure success. GA airport issues with respect to Airport Losses, for the most part, addressed the lack of guidance on the appropriate/sufficient levels of insurance the airport should carry to protect them in case of damages. Also, determining the type/level of insurance that airport management should require airport businesses, leaseholders (e.g., land leases), and tenants (e.g., hangar tenants) on the airfield to hold was of concern. Another safety concern related to Airport Losses addressed the difficulty of obtaining services to maintain and repair Engineered Material Arresting Systems (EMAS). According to the FAA Fact Sheet on EMAS, as of October 2014, there were only two manufacturers that met the requirements for an approved EMAS system. The lack of approved manufacturers appears to make it difficult for smaller airports to get maintenance service within the 45-day requirement. It is important to note that Airport Losses and Emergency Management were not only GA airport concerns but were in the top three categories for all respondents in this category. Small Hub Airports – Key Concerns The top categories noted by small hub airport respondents were on issues relating to Airport Losses, Terminal Incidents, and Safety Management. Like the GA airports, small hubs also expressed concerns and would like to have more guidance on insurance coverage for both the airport operator as well as its tenants, contractors, vendors, etc. Another concern addressed by small hubs was the damage caused to airfield lighting and pavement markings during snow removal evolutions. Although not a response from GA airports in this survey, the assumption can be made that smaller airports with limited budgets would find it difficult to replace runway/taxiway lights damaged by snow plows several times in a season. Of the three small hub respondents, only two provided some insights on the issues they encountered with Terminal Incidents. Although one of the responders explained that he was new to the position, all dealt with similar concerns. There seems to be a lack of industry guidance on prevention of injuries (i.e. slips, trips, and falls) within the terminal area, as well as the airport operator’s responsibilities with responding and reporting such mishaps. Another key concern was practical guidance on safety management processes. Unlike ICAO, the FAA is yet to mandate that SMS be implemented by certificated airport operators. Because of this, some airports continue to use their own existing safety programs, many required by multiple agencies, until a mandate ensues. Ensuring compliance to more than one program sometimes results in efforts being duplicated, risk ownership confusion, and mitigation strategies that adversely affect other departments. Thus, guidance on the integration of existing programs and processes under the umbrella of SMS is desired.

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 13 Large Hub Airports – Key Concerns For large hub airports, the main areas of concern included Airside Driving, Safety Management, and Non- Movement Area Safety. The responses provided by these airports revolved around a lack of regulation on non-movement areas such as the ramps, gates, and aprons. Collaboration between stakeholders and airport operators is difficult to plan, implement and enforce. Additionally, human factors relating to ground crew rest requirements was noted as a key concern due to overworked, fatigued, low-paid and rushed handlers operating heavy equipment around aircraft in these areas. Under the Airside Driving focus area, issues with monitoring stakeholder aircraft towing and reposition evolutions, and driver proficiency training were at the forefront of concerns. Since FAA Advisory Circulars (AC) consider these operations as vehicle operations, the responsibility falls under the airfield operator. Because current regulations do not address this airside area, airport operators have difficulty enforcing compliance with stakeholders that they have little to no regulatory authority over. From the survey results, there seems to be a need for guidance on SMS and its interactions between the airport operator and its stakeholders. Safety compliance, equipment maintenance practices, as well as organizational gaps are the genesis of many of their current safety concerns. Since there is no federal requirement to utilize SMS, a compilation resource explaining the experience of other airports of equal demographics to improve safety due to these contributory influences is viewed as necessary to the successful implementation and acceptance of SMS processes. Obstacles to Safety Improvement Many of the concerns identified in this study were the result of a poor (or misled) safety culture. This was evidenced by the references to repeated difficulties engaging key players to participate in training programs and emergency exercises. It was also apparent that safety and training programs continue to have low priority within company and organizational leadership, since the time allotted for safety training and inadequate budgets were among the top reported concerns. Although the top airside focus areas and safety improvement obstacles were somewhat dependent on the size and mission of the airport, there were industry wide similarities identified. Airport Losses, Airside Driving, and Emergency Management rounded out the top areas of concern across the board with Non- Movement Areas, Safety Management Program guidance, and Terminal Incidents following closely behind. Interviews with Select Airports. The information gained from the surveys led to the identification of potential research topics that might be included in the final roadmap. Thus, gaining additional insight through phone interviews with select airports took place prior to developing a preliminary list of research topics. Five airports were interviewed prior to the drafting of the preliminary list:  Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) – Small Hub, North Carolina  Dallas – Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – Large Hub, Texas  Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) – Small Hub, California  Norfolk International Airport (ORF) – Small Hub, Virginia

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 14  Seattle – Tacoma International Airport (SEA) – Large Hub, Washington During the scheduling process for the interviews, a link to the online survey was provided to the airports along with a request to complete the online survey in preparation for the teleconference. Their survey responses were used to guide the discussions. The results of these interviews were used to confirm the information already obtained in Tasks 1 and 2, and to further capture potential ideas for research topics for the roadmap. Research Team Experience. To add to the insight gained from the airports and stakeholders, and in order to generate potential research topics, the safety focus areas were divided amongst the three members of the research team. Each team member identified additional gaps and research opportunities based upon operational field experience working with safety management, operations and engineering at various airports in the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as prior SMS research for guidance development and implementation experience. This experience added to and expanded upon the industry input used to generate the preliminary list of safety topics included in the roadmap. 3.4 Develop List of Research Areas/Topics (with Industry Stakeholder Outreach) Phase I of the project was concluded with the consolidation of the information captured and analyzed, and the development of a preliminary list of research topics for the research roadmap. The initial list consisted of 40 potential research topics and it was categorized according to their applicable safety focus areas. A reference number was assigned to each topic for administrative purposes, and descriptions of the research that might be performed on each of the issues were crafted. Each topic was culled from the information provided by airport industry representatives responding to the online survey or interviewed via telephone. Additional topics were crafted by the members of the research team based on the analysis of the Literature Review resources, and on field experience. A prioritization of the preliminary research topics was performed as well. The team devised a system of assigning scores to each topic based on three key factors; safety risk level, industry interest, and gaps in existing research and guidance. The purpose was to develop a systematic approach that could mitigate the subjectivity during the prioritization process and that could be repeated in future prioritization assessments. The Risk Level score was based upon the identified safety hazards or accident causal factors and the associated level of risk as published in the following references:  Boeing - Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents Worldwide Operations from 2017 (statistics based on 10 years of survey)  Airbus – A Statistical Analysis of Commercial Aviation Accidents – 1958 - 2018  ACRP Report 131 - A Guidebook for Safety Risk Management for Airports – Appendix F – Typical Accident and Incident Rates The first scoring factor for each topic was the Risk Level. For each type of event, a risk score was assigned based upon a five-point scale based on the research team assessed probability and severity of such an event over which the airport has some level of control.

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 15  Factor 1 - Risk Level (based on industry statistics of accidents: probability and severity) (5) (5) (5) (3) (3) (3) (4) (1) (3) (3) o Safety Management o Runway Excursions o Runway Incursions o Ramp Safety o Construction Safety o Unmanned Aircraft Systems o Emergency Management o Terminal Safety o Airspace Safety o Airside Driving o Safety Training (4) The second factor, Industry Interest, was scored based upon the results of data captured from the surveys and interviews with a range of airports conducted during Phase I, as follows:  Factor 2 - Industry Interest (based on our survey and interviews) o High (5)  Airport Losses, Airside Driving, Emergency Management, Training, o Medium (3)  Non-Movement Area, Terminal Safety and Safety Management o Low (1)  Runway RSA/RPZ, Movement Area, Other The third scoring factor was titled Research Gap. This factor was based upon the results of the Literature Review and experience of the research team. • Factor 3 - Research Gap (based on the Literature Review results) o Lacking guidance (5)  GA (Safety Management, Airside Driving, Emergency Response, Airspace Control) o Partial/Dated guidance available (4)  Training, drills, SMS training programs o Sufficient guidance available (1) The preliminary prioritization of the initial research topic list was performed for the following reasons: 1. Provide an initial foundation upon which the inputs to the research roadmap could be based and edited as the project continued. 2. Develop a list of topics for the Project Oversight Panel review prior to the project Interim Meeting.

Next: 4. Roadmap Development and Finalization »
Research Roadmap on Safety Issues Get This Book
×
 Research Roadmap on Safety Issues
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

With the airport industry's introduction and early adoption of safety management systems (SMS), safety processes are taking on a more proactive way of doing the business while continuously improving safety. This shift in approach will drive safety research in the near and long-term future.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Web-Only Document 50: Research Roadmap on Safety Issues reveals evidence of this shift, with input from the industry clearly indicating that more detailed guidance on, and the sharing of lessons learned regarding the elements and processes falling under the SMS umbrella, is needed.

Two supplemental files accompany this web-only document, including a Safety Research Topics Database and a Visual Research Roadmap.

READ FREE ONLINE

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!