We have previously discussed the fact that traveling by plane is far safer than traveling by motor vehicle. However, simply because air travel is safer than road travel does not mean that it cannot be safer itself. The number of aviation accidents that occur annually are far fewer than the number of motor vehicle crashes. But until the number of aviation accidents which occur annually reaches zero, improvements to air safety should continue to be a national priority.
Federal regulators recently took an important step towards improving safety for air travelers. Specifically, the Federal Aviation Administration insisted that airlines must create programs designed to prevent accidents and to identify potential safety hazards. Airlines will need to submit their plans by mid-2015 and must implement a broader proactive program guided by the FAA by 2018, according to The New York Times.
At present, the much of the airline industry has independent and fragmented safety management plans. The FAA hopes that this new process will aid the agency in creating a plan applicable to the entire industry. This seems to be why airlines must submit plans within the next six months but will not be held to broader standards until 2018.
These new safety management standards will ultimately result in formal processes by which airlines will be able to better analyze safety data collected by disparate areas of their organizations. In turn, it will likely aid the FAA in analyzing data from throughout the industry, which is likely to benefit the safety of travelers over the long-run.
Source: The New York Times, “F.A.A. Orders Airlines to Devise Plans to Identify Risks,” Jad Mouawad, Jan. 7, 2015