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Perceptions and Efficacy of Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) Programs Among Small-scale Operators
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROSPACE MEDICAL INST
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Despite safety and economic advantages, as well as endorsements by the International Civil Aviation Organization, the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board, and Congress, voluntary Flight Operational Quality Assurance FOQAparticipation has not been fully implemented in the United States GAO, 2010, particularly among small operators. Pilots concern about data misuse continues to be one of the primary factors preventing participation in voluntary safety programs. Considered in conjunction with pilots attitudes and pressure from pilot unions, airlines might find it difficult to justify the cost of implementing and maintaining a FOQA program if they are dubious about its benefits or concerned about its risks. Increased FOQA participation among small-scale air carriers may depend on demonstrating that significant safety benefits can be gained and positive perceptions of the program sustained, with minimal cost to the operator. The current study evaluates both attitudinal and operational aspects of a FOQA program maintained by a small-scale government aircraft operator. The Perceptions of Flight Operations Quality Assurance PFOQA questionnaire was used to systematically collect information about pilots attitudes regarding FOQA. Questionnaire items were based on concerns and recommendations proposed by the Flight Safety Foundation FOQA task force created to identify issues that might hinder or prevent the implementation of FOQA. Survey participants were a sample of 83 government pilots drawn from a population of approximately 180 Office of Aviation System Standards AJW pilots. A time series analysis of FOQA event rates was used to determine whether quarterly reports providing feedback to pilots a cost-effective intervention method can produce significant safety benefits. FOQA exceedances used in the time series analyses were de-identified monthly summary data for the Learjet 60 fleet recorded between July 2006 and November 2010.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE