Continued safety is a condition to growth. But as traffic volumes keep on increasing, airports and airspace operate at max capacity, and operational environments get more and more complex in order to optimize capacity while keeping environmental effects to a minimum. In these circumstances, meeting safety requirements in an efficient and affordable manner presents a big challenge to organizations bearing safety responsibilities.
The area comprises all the knowledge, methodologies and facilities to perform safety & security assessments, investigate incidents and accidents, and provide advice in safety issues. The area concerns knowledge extension for the development of models and methods for safety analysis, both for aircraft and for operations. Eventually, these will lead to guidelines and methods for establishing international rules and certification.
This area contains the development of methods and models for the performance of safety analysis (safety and security assessments), both quantitative and qualitative, for aircraft and operations. Included in this are models to signify the causal relation within the air transport process chain. Within this area, guidelines and methods for establishing international rules and certification will be developed.
Research and development activities include the design of safety models, tools and analysis methods. On a more operational level are consultancy activities like safety management, safety cases and assessments, training and regulatory support. Incident and accident investigation is another part.
One aspect of safety concerns aircraft separation. Reduced separation would be possible on approach and take-off, when good wake vortex detection and improved wake vortex separation rules are in place. Air transport safety includes third party safety, i.e. the risk of casualties on the ground in the vicinity of an airport.
At the same time new potential hazards, emerge such as mixing traditional airspace users with new types of airborne platforms like UAV’s, and stronger protections against unlawful interference (security) are needed. These developments necessitate the introduction of new technologies, new procedures, new regulatory requirements, and higher levels of integration across the entire air transport system.
A trend is visible towards an integrated air transport system in which the role of the human operator changes and new types of airplanes, like UAVs, need to be integrated in a safe and secure manner.