Release aviation data

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  • Bill Ogilvie
    Oct. 28, 2007 4:31 p.m.

    There are times when protecting the source of information is in the public interest. NASA Ames operates a national reporting system where aviators are granted privilege in exchange for free and frank reports of incidents involving aircraft operations. This privilege is granted as long as no willful violation of the law is evident and no injury or damage resulted from the circumstances.

    NASA sanitizes the data and uses it to pressure operators and agencies involved to make changes necessary to prevent reoccurrences. They also produce a monthly publication read by industry pilots, traffic controllers, and aviation safety experts world wide. It identifies trends and practices with reoccurring themes and identifies areas where additional efforts are needed.

    Some of the information in these reports threatens the livelihood of the person reporting the occurrence. If released to the general public, employers, or enforcement agencies, this information could result in punitive action against the person who reported their mistake. The very existence of the program depends on the continued security of the raw data. APs effort to obtain this data places the entire system at risk. If the government cannot guarantee my reports will remain privileged, I wont submit another one.

  • RK
    Oct. 24, 2007 12:14 p.m.

    This is a powerful statement in a day age when the government we pay for daily, won't serve us with the information we paid THEM to get US:

    "NASA's refusal to publicly release a survey of airline safety is sadly indicative of a sense of confusion many public servants have about who exactly it is they serve."

    Thanks for saying it loud and clear. Heaven help us all!

  • Lew Jeppson
    Oct. 24, 2007 8:33 a.m.

    To improve air safety we need to use more surface transportation for intermediate trips, leaving the air for long hauls, but we have to have decent interfaces between air and surface. For example on the Northeast Corridor there is only one decent Amtrak/Air interface (at BWI).