US airlines will have a prototype system for the exchange of safety information operational within a month if predictions by US Air Transport Association (ATA) vice-president operations Al Prest are realised.

The aim is to build a database of safety-incident information, which will be large enough to enable useful trend analysis to be carried out. This, Prest says, should enable pro-active safety measures to be taken.

To be known as the Aviation Safety Exchange Support System (ASESS) and based on the British Airways Safety Information System (BASIS), the ASESS scheme will be operated by the ATA on behalf of its member airlines. Prest says that all ATA member airlines have the BASIS software, and ATA will operate the central database and information analysis system.

The Federal Aviation Administration, says Prest, cannot become directly involved in the ASESS, because if it does the data may be accessed by lawyers through the Freedom of Information Act. This would stop airlines filing data for exchange.

Source: Flight International