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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. In-Time Aviation Safety Management: Challenges and Research for an Evolving Aviation System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24962.
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A

Statement of Task

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will convene an ad hoc committee to create a national research agenda for the development of the suite of tools needed to support a prototype integrated safety monitoring and assurance system that detects, predicts, and prevents safety problems in the national airspace system (NAS) in real time, particularly with regard to the safety of commercial transports. The recommended research agenda will consist of a set of research projects, grouped by priority, to achieve this goal. In particular the committee will

  1. Review the following:
    1. Current processes for providing real-time system-wide safety assurance for the NAS.
    2. Current goals and plans by government, industry, and academia regarding the advancement of tools, technologies, and processes that specifically address real-time system-wide safety assurance for the NAS, including ongoing research by NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate and that portion of the NASA Technology Roadmap for Aeronautics that specifically addresses system-wide safety assurance.
    3. Expectations regarding advances of broadly applicable technology that could be used to advance real-time system-wide safety assurance capabilities. Areas of interest include sensing, computing, communications, and analytics, as well as safety assurance technologies and capabilities for nonaviation applications.
    4. NASA’s vision for advances in system-wide safety assurance over the near term, midterm, and far term.
  2. Outline a national research agenda that will demonstrate the feasibility of real-time system-wide safety assurance of the NAS, as follows:
    1. Comment on NASA’s vision for development of real-time system-wide safety assurance capabilities.
    2. Identify technical, economic, regulatory, and policy barriers to developing and demonstrating advanced technologies and capabilities to achieve the vision.
    3. Recommend a research agenda consisting of a set of recommended research projects, grouped by priority, to overcome the barriers and achieve the vision for real-time system-wide safety assurance. The agenda should be developed with due consideration of the resources and organizational partnerships required to complete the projects included in the agenda. The research agenda should, as appropriate, describe the potential contributions and roles of U.S. research organizations, including NASA, other federal agencies, industry, and academia.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. In-Time Aviation Safety Management: Challenges and Research for an Evolving Aviation System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24962.
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Decades of continuous efforts to address known hazards in the national airspace system (NAS) and to respond to issues illuminated by analysis of incidents and accidents have made commercial airlines the safest mode of transportation. The task of maintaining a high level of safety for commercial airlines is complicated by the dynamic nature of the NAS. The number of flights by commercial transports is increasing; air traffic control systems and procedures are being modernized to increase the capacity and efficiency of the NAS; increasingly autonomous systems are being developed for aircraft and ground systems, and small aircraft—most notably unmanned aircraft systems—are becoming much more prevalent. As the NAS evolves to accommodate these changes, aviation safety programs will also need to evolve to ensure that changes to the NAS do not inadvertently introduce new risks.

Real-time system-wide safety assurance (RSSA) is one of six focus areas for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) aeronautics program. NASA envisions that an RSSA system would provide a continuum of information, analysis, and assessment that supports awareness and action to mitigate risks to safety. Maintaining the safety of the NAS as it evolves will require a wide range of safety systems and practices, some of which are already in place and many of which need to be developed. This report identifies challenges to establishing an RSSA system and the high-priority research that should be implemented by NASA and other interested parties in government, industry, and academia to expedite development of such a system.

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