The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its 2021-2022 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements on Tuesday, calling for the installation of crash-resistant cockpit image recorders and the implementation of safety management systems (SMS) in all revenue passenger carrying operations. According to the Board, the installation of cockpit image recorders in passenger-carrying commercial aircraft, along with putting programs in place to analyze recorder data, would help with accidents investigations and “prevent crashes in the first place by allowing crew actions to be evaluated regularly.” The NTSB noted that it has been advocating for image recorders in the cockpit for 20 years.
In recommending expanded implementation of SMS programs, the NTSB reported that, while it has seen some voluntary SMS program adoption, the majority of revenue passenger carrying operations do not employ them. “By establishing an effective safety management system (SMS) and creating a safety culture aimed at making safety a focus first and always, operators will improve aviation safety and reduce the risk of accidents,” the NTSB said. “It can be scalable to the size and complexity of operations yet, too many operators either do not have one in place or have an ineffective one.”
In addition to the two recommended aviation safety improvements, the NTSB’s 2021-2022 Most Wanted List includes five highway safety improvements, one marine improvement, one rail improvement and one pipeline improvement.