Audit programs of airlines by the partner organizations obtain complementary safety information, according to IATA. This Boeing photo shows a 737.

Global Aviation Safety Info Exchange Under Development

Audit results are part of the data to be shared by the International Air Transport Association, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Commission of the European Union.

A global safety information exchange for air transport is in development, thanks to an agreement signed recently by the International Air Transport Association, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Commission of the European Union. IATA announced they had signed a Declaration of Intent to exchange safety data, including results of audits they perform, during an ICAO conference in Montreal.

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general and CEO, said the agreement "marks the first time the global aviation community has come together to work on a global safety information exchange. Data must drive our actions so that we can focus our joint efforts on reducing the greatest risks. Working together with governments using global standards, safety has improved tremendously. In 1945, there were 9 million passengers and 247 fatalities. In 2009, 2.3 billion people flew with 685 fatalities. Every fatality is a human tragedy and reminds us that we must do better. Today’s agreement is one more important step to make a safe industry even safer."

The partner organizations' audit programs obtain complementary safety information, according to IATA, which represents about 230 airlines that provide 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic. "We must understand safety trends, not just from the handful of accidents each year, but by bringing together and analyzing data from millions of safe flights. With this, we can take more effective action to reduce risks and improve safety performance," Bisignani said. "There is no competition when it comes to safety. Cooperation is the way forward. We have a common goal of zero accidents and zero fatalities. The safety data from audits and oversight programs contains important parts of a whole picture. Agreeing to put this data together is a major step forward."

Within 18 months, the organizations hope to complete work on a plan to standardize safety audit information and ensure compliance with local privacy laws and policies.

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