FAA, EASA Expand Safety Efforts

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The FAA's efforts in recent years to collect and share industry data has benefitted airline safety, the agency says, and on Tuesday, the European Aviation Safety Agency took steps to work with the FAA to expand those programs globally. At a joint safety conference held in Washington, D.C., EASA chief Patrick Ky said his agency already has asked the FAA to help in creating a database that would share information while protecting security and privacy. He plans to have a small, voluntary program up and running within two years, he told The Wall Street Journal. The FAA's efforts to analyze incident data such as voluntary pilot reports has helped to reduce U.S. commercial-aviation accident rates, according to the Journal. More than 50 U.S. airlines and industry groups share safety data with the FAA.

EASA still must find funding for the program, which is expected to cost about $200 million. The conference, which continues through Thursday, is focusing on how to share safety-related data within and across our governments, agencies and industry; identify and act on precursors to safety problems; use risk management to make safety decisions; harmonize new technologies; promote a systems safety approach; and minimize duplication among various aviation systems. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta is leading the conference as keynote speaker.