Data key to new era of aviation safety: IATA

Kuala Lumpur
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IATA believes that the timely and comprehensive analysis of flight-related data is key to driving additional safety gains in the airline industry.

"We are entering the era of safety version 2.0," says Kevin Hiatt, senior vice-president, safety and flight operations at IATA. "Data can help identify hazards in advance. It is the future of aviation safety."

Hiatt, a former pilot with Delta Air Lines, spoke with Flightglobal on the sidelines of the IATA Ops conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Hiatt says there is a strong willingness of the world's carriers to pool safety related data, provided it is "de-identified" before being pooled.

"We've gone from the reactive mode, so the next logical step is going to the predictive mode."

Hiatt also touched on the key issue of pilot training, and the challenges of attracting talented individuals to a role that demands long and costly training, but limited job security and dubious career prospects.

He says airlines, namely those operating in the USA, have started to recognise the issue, particularly as the talent stream traditionally supplied by the military has been drying up in recent years.

This will ultimately lead to airlines to take a greater role in pilots' ab initio training.

He adds that the key safety issues faced by airlines remain loss of control in flight, controlled flight into terrain,and runway excursions.