THE CLINTON Administration has outlined a series of safety initiatives designed to enhance commercial air safety. The 173 safety actions result from the aviation-safety conference which was held in January in Washington.

The agenda addresses a wide range of safety issues, including data collection, training of flightcrew and maintenance staff and technology development. Some are new projects, while other programmes have simply been accelerated. Deadlines for implementation have been set, with over 100 initiatives scheduled for completion by 30 September.

US Transportation Secretary Federico Pe¤a says that some of the actions will require "substantial investment" by US carriers. The Air Transport Association (ATA) has responded by saying that, without adequate resources, "...many of the recommendations cannot be implemented".

The ATA says that all member carriers will create independent safety offices with overall responsibility for airline safety.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Aviation Administration has ordered internal safety audits of the ATA membership.

The FAA has issued a policy statement permitting free exchange of digital flight-recorder data and other safety information. The sensitive information is required for Flight Operations Quality Assurance programmes.

In the past, there was concern that data voluntarily released by airlines could be used against them in regulatory enforcement. The FAA promises not to use the data against airlines.

Key initiatives in flightcrew training include more simulator time for aircrews. The agency proposes to make maintenance-resource management a requirement, patterned after crew-resource-management programmes.

The FAA has pledged to finish work on several technical-safety projects by 1998. They include the Airport Surface Traffic Automation project and implementation of a two-way datalink.

Source: Flight International