Airline Passenger Group Crunches NASA Study Data

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

The Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights (CAPBOR) has compiled and made available on its Web site a spreadsheet that the group claims brings some clarity to the results of NASA's controversial National Aviation Operational Monitoring Service (NAOMS) project. NASA collected surveys from more than 30,000 pilots between 2001 and 2004, including 4,777 responses from general aviation pilots. But it's unlikely anyone looking at the results could conclude much from the data in its raw form. CAPBOR founder Kate Hanni and researcher Mark Mogel told AVweb that their group does not have the resources to reformat the general aviation responses, but hopes that by publishing the spreadsheet they can increase political pressure on the FAA and the airlines. "Pilots have told us that a lot of the answers to these questions are simply because of pilot fatigue," Mogel told AVweb, referring to the responses, which included reports of runway incursions and loss of visual separation from other aircraft in flight. "We're not trying to terrify people, we're just trying to tell the truth," Hanni said. NASA initially refused to release the data on the grounds that doing so could damage public confidence in airline travel, but agreed to unleash the data by the end of 2007 after being hounded by The Associated Press, which had filed a freedom of information request. During a Dec. 31 news conference, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said NASA has no intention of analyzing the data.