The NTSB now has access to safety data gathered by the FAA, airlines and pilots thanks to an agreement signed last week. The deal will allow the NTSB to ask for information gleaned from anonymous reports gathered by the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program. "I am grateful to the FAA, industry and labor for their leadership," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. "Better information leads to better investigations." The NTSB will use the data to determine if an accident is an isolated event or part of a systemic problem.
ASIAS has been running since 2007, has 44 members representing 95 percent of airline operations, and is part of a broader network of databases that analysts have used to launch safety initiatives. FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta said the anonymous reporting system, in which uses protected data from industry and government voluntary reporting systems, has helped improve flight safety. "More than 90 percent of air carriers use voluntary reporting programs and this has led to significant training, operational and maintenance program improvements," Huerta said.