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Friends and Partners in Aviation Weather

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1 Friends and Partners in Aviation Weather
July 24, 2013

2 a healthy safety culture.”
VSRP Purpose “VSRPs are a key component to the ATO Safety Management System (SMS), providing a method to identify and correct potential safety hazards. These important programs encourage voluntarily submitted safety reports from employees involved in the delivery of air traffic services and are foundational to a healthy safety culture.” JO

3 VSRP Goals Move from compliance-based mode of error management to voluntary, participatory investigation programs Encourage reporting in order to gather as much data as possible Administer individual and systemic corrective action appropriately to serve the best interests of safety The success of ATSAP begins with a commitment to safety and not to traditional ways of “doing business”. Without this understanding, the program is doomed to failure. Compliance-based programs will never yield the quantity and quality of information that can be found in a voluntary reporting program like ATSAP. Anything done to discourage participation in ATSAP prevents the acquisition of important safety related data, much of which would be unobtainable in the normal course of business. Once identified, corrective action can be implemented where appropriate. Corrective action directed specifically at the controller should be the exception rather than the rule. Most often, systems fail and individuals are set up for failure as a result.

4 Origin of VSRPs NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS)
Established in 1976 in response to TWA 514 crash at Dulles International Airport (IAD). Voluntary Participation Confidentiality Protection through de-identification Non-punitive Over 980,000 reports submitted through 2011 Over 5,400 Safety Alert Messages issued Unless involving an accident, ATSAP reports may be automatically shared with ASRS In the United States, the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) has been collecting confidential voluntary reports of close calls from pilots, flight attendants, air traffic controllers since 1976. The system was established after TWA Flight 514 crashed on approach to Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., killing all 85 passengers and seven crew in The investigation that followed found that the pilot misunderstood an ambiguous response from the Dulles air traffic controllers, and that earlier another airline had told its pilots, but not other airlines, about a similar near miss. Some familiar safety rules, such as turning off electronic devices that can interfere with navigation equipment, are a result of this program.

5 NAS Safety Challenges Complexity Change Aircraft operations & types
Personnel & Facilities Organizations Multiple domains/SOPs Change Training Technology

6 Why VSRPs Work When organizations want to learn more about what happened, the best approach is to ask those involved People are generally willing to share their knowledge if they are assured that their identities will remain protected and they will not be punished From ASRS briefing:

7 Why VSRPs Work (cont.) A properly constructed confidential, voluntary, non-punitive reporting system can be used by any person to safely share information Confidential reporting systems have the means to answer the question why - why a system failed, why a human erred Incident/event data are complementary to the data gathered by other monitoring systems From ASRS briefing:

8 ATSAP Overview MOU signed March 2008, training began July 2008, completed nationwide Sept. 2010 Initially 1 ERC, now 3; one in each SA Three party program: ATO, NATCA, AOV Modeled after airline ASAPs Covers Controllers (including trainees) and FLMs Confidential Information Sharing Program (CISP) with airline partner ASAPs added in 2010

9 ATSAP Overview 68,000+ Reports Submitted
Of 20,000+ eligible personnel, 16,000+ registered 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Fully Implemented TARP Implemented New Safety Orders ESA Training CSA Training WSA Training ATSAP Reports Submitted Monthly

10 Corrective Action Request
Written document sent to the ATO VP by the ERC. Request for action for an identified safety issue Supported by documentation Not the fix to the identified problem Formally identifies issue and requests that a Corrective Action Plan be created in response CARs are sent to both ATMs and FACREPs and include signature lines for each. The ERC identifies a problem area. The facility is expected to formulate a plan to fix the problem. This are depicted in the the ATSAP Administration Manual.

11 Weather Related ATSAP Corrective Action Requests (CARs)

12 CAR 2010-019 Cold Weather Altimeters
Issued May 25, 2010 Notes on this issue date back to 1992 without resolution. PROBLEM: Cold temperature correction for MVAs and final approach segments of instrument approach procedures. SOLUTION: Still in the works, slow progress. Controller training in development.

13 CAR 2010-031 Weather Deviations
Issued August 23, 2011 PROBLEM: ATSAP reports indicate that there is a misunderstanding of key elements regarding the application of weather deviation procedures. Phraseology Pilot/Controller expectations Responsibilities Ineffective training SOLUTION: DCPs in final coordination and Controller training in development.

14 CAR 2010-040 SUA and Weather Issued November 17, 2010
PROBLEM: ATSAP reports indicate potential safety issues related to aircraft deviating through active Special Use Airspace (SUA) in an effort to avoid weather. “Insufficient planning or procedures to address real time weather events.” SOLUTION: ATO issued a two Notices ( & ) that created new facility requirements and clarified controller responsibilities. Notices published June 15, 2012, and associated training delivered.

15 CAR 2011-002 GPT Weather Issued 2/4/2011
PROBLEM: GPT has an Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) on the airport, but unlike other airports with part time towers, they do not have an ASOS/ATIS Interface Unit (AAIU) to allow them the capability to transmit real time ASOS observations to pilots over the ATIS frequency. SOLUTION: Install new phone line and AAIU at GPT. Scheduled August 2013

16 CAR 2011-014 Severe Weather Issued August 18, 2011
PROBLEM: ATSAP received numerous reports on significant weather events, which have caused significant operational issues, including: lack of coordination, sector overload, and sector confusion. Best Practices Memo – issued Training – not developed

17 CAR 2011-023 ZMA – Access to Current Weather
Issued December 14, 2011 PROBLEM: Lack of weather radar within the airspace overlying the Caribbean area of Miami ARTCC. SOLUTION: Initially too costly, but currently researching the use of OSC (Off-Shore Convection Product) that will be a fraction of the cost of installing/maintaining new or existing radars. Tentative implementation: If all goes well

18 CAR 2012-004 NEXRAD/WARP Settings
Issued April 6, 2012 PROBLEM: Inconsistencies in the display of Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) and Weather and Radar Processor (WARP) filtering system which may cause an erroneous indication of the precipitation intensity on the radar display. This could result in controllers providing pilots inaccurate weather information, or providing unnecessary reroutes which could impact the safety of the NAS by compressing traffic volumes into available airspace. Solution: Still a work in progress

19 CAR 2012-009 Tailwind/Crosswind Operations
Issued May 31, 2012 Reports described situations where the runways in use were not “the runways most nearly aligned with the wind.”(FAAO , 3-5-1) Reports also describe situations where the METAR reported wind gusts were not being reported on the digital ATIS. Work in progress -- Workgroup continues to work on the rewrite of applicable FAA Orders.


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