NTSB joins safety information exchange board

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The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), airlines and labour unions will begin sharing safety information with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) under an existing initiative.

Called the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) Executive Board, it will help the NTSB determine if an accident is a one-off occurrence or indicative of systemic risks, says the FAA.

Airlines and unions already share such information voluntarily with the FAA.

"More than 90% of air carriers use voluntary reporting programmes and this has led to significant training, operational and maintenance program improvements," says FAA acting administrator Michael Huerta.

ASIAS aggregates data from these reporting programmes without identifying the data's source, in order to identify safety issues and measure effectiveness of solutions. It started in 2007 and now has 44 members. It receives data that covers 95% of all commercial air carrier operations.

With the NTSB joining the initiative, it will share with ASIAS its archived accident and flight data recorder information by request.

"The NTSB will initiate written requests for ASIAS information related to aircraft accidents involving US air carriers that occur in the United States and address safety issues that both the NTSB and the ASIAS board determine are significant and non-routine or reoccurring," says the FAA.