Alexandria, VA, June 6, 2007 — Flight Safety Foundation President and CEO William R. Voss testified today on Capitol Hill before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s subcommittee on aviation. The hearing was called to hear testimony on the National Transportation Safety Board’s “Most Wanted Aviation Safety Improvements List.”
Voss acknowledged the importance of the accident investigation process to discover why aircraft crash and to develop solutions to minimize the risk of the same accident happening again, but he emphasized the importance of safety management systems in discovering risk before a plane crashes.
“Aviation safety professionals have adopted a more proactive safety management approach in order to identify risk and prioritize actions by analyzing data from ‘normal’ flights. They use reporting systems that allow pilots, mechanics and others to report problems that would normally go unrecognized,” Voss stated. “By protecting this data and acting on it early, lives are saved.”
He further explained the vital importance of trust and open communications between labor and management in achieving this proactive safety management culture.
“The industry and regulator have been through difficult times and labor relations are strained,” Voss said. “But such debates must never be allowed to compromise the free flow of safety information in the system. Safety professionals use this information to save lives.”
Voss and others on the panel suggested to Chairman Jerry F. Costello (D-IL) and Ranking Member Thomas E. Petri (R-WI) that future hearings dedicated to safety management systems in aviation would provide a great opportunity for Congress to understand more fully the proactive work being done by safety professionals in the industry. Subcommittee members expressed interest in learning more about this topic.
Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to pursue the continuous improvement of global aviation safety and the prevention of accidents. www.flightsafety.org
Contact: Emily McGee, Director of Communications, 1-703-739-6700, ext. 126; email@example.com