National Academies Press: OpenBook

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues (2020)

Chapter: 5. Safety Research Issues

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Suggested Citation:"5. Safety Research Issues." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
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Suggested Citation:"5. Safety Research Issues." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
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Suggested Citation:"5. Safety Research Issues." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
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Suggested Citation:"5. Safety Research Issues." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
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Suggested Citation:"5. Safety Research Issues." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Research Roadmap on Safety Issues. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25957.
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Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 17 4.2 Safety Topic Prioritization Based on this industry feedback, the research team conducted a review of safety topics to finalize the list and set the levels of priority for the topics. As a result, the final list of safety topics, or safety issues, was whittled from 40 topics to 35 by combining five pairs of similar topics under common focus areas into single issues. A number of these combinations were based on the recommendation of airports and stakeholders providing feedback. The prioritization process was deliberative. The research team members considered four inputs during the prioritization effort:  Prioritization scores assigned to each topic using the assessment process discussed previously  Comments on priority of the topics received from the responding airports and stakeholders  Number of votes received on each topic via the IdeaHub  Research team input and debate Rather than a developing a list ranking each topic from 1 to 35, the decision was made to categorize the topics into five blocks of five topics, with the remaining 10 proposed topics deemed of lower priority being grouped together. This was an attempt to place an order for research consideration during the first five years following publication, with the final 10 being considered for research beyond the first five years. This ordering was in accordance with the objectives of the research and based on the approach used to develop other airport research roadmaps. 5. Safety Research Issues The final list of safety topics for future research is provided in this section. The listing is according to the Priority Blocks described in the previous section. In the final roadmap, each topic is presented with the key information and elements needed to craft a Problem Statement; in other words, information for each of the required fields when crafting an IdeaHub submission was authored and included. The detailed information for each topic included in the Research Roadmap on Airport Safety is available in the link provided by ACRP and indicated in Appendix B. The information is provided as an Excel spreadsheet (separate from this document) which also includes the prioritization scores for each topic, along with the number of IdeaHub votes each topic received. A link to the final Interactive Visual Research Roadmap residing on the ACRP IdeaHub Website is provided in Appendix C. 5.1 Priority Block 1  Effective Practices for Airside Driving Safety at Airports (Focus Area: Airside Driving; Sub- topic: Training) - Develop practical guidance for airports regarding training and managing the performance of individuals with airside driving privileges. This guidance should be applicable to movement area and non-movement area drivers. (Research)

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 18  Managing Safety in the Movement of People about the Airport (Focus Area: Terminal Safety; Sub-topic: Infrastructure) - Conduct research on the hazards, risks, and causes of accidents impacting the movement of employees, users, and stakeholders about an airport. A focus of the research should be on people moving infrastructure, such as elevators, escalators, and motorized carts; along with the causes and prevention of slips and falls. (Research)  Development of a Comprehensive and Efficient Airport Safety Training Program (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Training) - Develop a practical guide for airports of different sizes and complexities on developing comprehensive and effective safety training programs. (Research)  Determining the Costs and Financial Benefit of Airport Safety (Focus Area: Airport Losses; Sub-topic: Costs and Accounting) - Develop and create modeling that airports can use to pro- actively measure the effectiveness of safety. Further, establish a common system and categories of investments in safety and how they are tracked. Include practical guidance on conducting a safety cost/benefit analysis involving major airport changes. (Research)  Practical Guide for Effective Tabletop Exercises (Focus Area: Emergency Management; Sub-topic: Training) - Develop practical guidance with examples on how to effectively plan, organize, conduct, evaluate outcomes, and improve operational processes as a result of tabletop exercises. (Research) 5.2 Priority Block 2  Guidebook to Understanding and Changing the Airport Safety Culture (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Promotion) - Develop a guidebook for airport leaders that presents the concepts of organizational safety culture, the factors that influence the culture, and techniques and processes leaders can use to positively shape the safety culture of the airport. (Research)  UAS Hazard Management by Airports (Focus Area: Runway Safety - Flight; Sub-topic: Risk Management) - Provide guidance and information regarding best practices for how airports have actively engaged UAS operators and FAA air traffic control so that use of UAS in and around airports is collaborative and planned, as opposed to negligent, accidental, or intentionally criminal in nature. Further, provide UAS detection and deterrent technology references so that airports can understand their options when it comes to local protection against unwanted UAS operations. (Synthesis)  Safety Performance Indicators and Data Collection for Airports (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Assurance) - Conduct research and develop practical guidance on the methods used by airports and other industries to measure and communicate safety performance through safety performance indicators, and assess the effectiveness of an SMS. Include methods by which airports communicate safety performance indicators and trends to leadership. (Research)  Fatigue Management for Airport Ground Crews (Focus Area: Non-Movement Area and Ramp Safety; Sub-topic: Personnel) - Develop guidance for airports on the impacts, risks, and effective mitigation strategies for addressing cognitive fatigue in airport personnel. The research

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 19 should explore the root causes of fatigue, how fatigue impacts human performance, and approaches to minimize the risks associated with employee fatigue. (Research)  Worldwide Best Practices to Improve Airport Safety (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub- topic: Practices/General Guidance) - Research and summarize the state of the art in airport safety initiatives and tools used successfully by the industry worldwide. Initiatives can be in terms of technology, processes, procedures, safety organization, safety promotion and supporting tools. (Synthesis) 5.3 Priority Block 3  Establishing Commercial Ramp Safety Standards (Focus Area: Non-Movement Area and Ramp Safety; Sub-topic: Practices/General Guidance) - Research and document best practices recommended for commercial airports related to ramp operations. The practices should include operational safety processes, infrastructure marking, informational signage and operating procedures for airport personnel and tenants alike. The objective of this synthesis is to identify and offer corrective practices for common gaps and promote effective approaches for ramp operation safety by Part 139 airports. (Synthesis)  Insuring Airports as a Means to Mitigate Risk (Focus Area: Airport Losses; Sub-topic: Costs and Accounting) - Develop guidance for airports on contracting and managing effective airport insurance services. The guidance should include practices airports can adopt to include insurance as a risk mitigation approach within an SMS. (Synthesis)  Guide to Control Runway Incursions at Airports (Focus Area: Movement Area - Surface; Sub-topic: Risk Management) - Develop practical guidance on how airports of different sizes and complexities can identify hazards that can lead to runway incursions and recommend actions involving infrastructure changes, prevention systems and safety promotion initiatives that can be adopted. (Research)  Safety Management of Ground Handling Operations (Focus Area: Non-Movement Area and Ramp Safety; Sub-topic: Policy) - Develop guidance to assist airports in managing ground service providers and their equipment. (Research)  A Guidebook to Integrating Airport Safety Guidance (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Policy) - Develop guidance to aid airports in integrating the multiple sources of safety guidance and safety requirements to which an airport operator must comply that would reduce redundancy and gain efficiencies for personnel with safety management responsibilities. (Research) 5.4 Priority Block 4  Guide for Safety Investigations and Root Cause Analysis at Airports (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Response and Investigation) - Create a guidebook for airport operators that outlines the elements and procedures for conducting an effective safety investigation. The research would provide airport leadership the knowledge and tools to thoroughly investigate

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 20 safety incidents so as to identify safety hazards, their root cases, and the human factors behind undesired outcomes. (Research)  Managing Protected Surfaces from Penetration at General Aviation Airports (Focus Area: Runway Safety - Flight; Sub-topic: Policy) - Develop practical guidance for small airports on monitoring, reporting to the FAA, and securing the airport airspace to remain free of new obstacles from developments in the airport vicinity. (Research)  Integrating NIMS into Airport Emergency Response Plans (Focus Area: Emergency Management; Sub-topic: Practices/General Guidance) - Develop guidance for airports to best integrate the processes and training requirements associated with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) with existing guidance on airport emergency management. The research should focus on resolving differences, reducing redundancy in training and reporting requirements, and customize NIMS toolkits to best fit the airport environment. (Research)  Safety Management under Winter Conditions (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Practices/General Guidance) - Provide guidance for how to pro-actively assess pending or immanent winter storms at and individual airport. SMS and SRM processes direct apply to winter storm preparedness and management. By providing information on how to make such efforts part of the normal planning process, airports can improve not only safety but the effectiveness and efficiency of airport winter operations. (Research)  Integrating Airport SMS – The Airports Role in Safety Management in the Airside Environment (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Policy) - Develop a report that addresses approaches for airports to integrate SMS processes airside wide with the focus being on the role of the airport in coordinating the various safety management efforts ongoing with stakeholders. (Research) 5.5 Priority Block 5  Effective Practices in Expanding SMS Airport Wide (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub- topic: Policy) - Conduct research and synthesize the practices of airports and other industries on the extension of safety management system processes across the organization in efforts to maximize the effectiveness, understanding and efficiency of safety management. (Research)  Integrating Ramp Towers into the Airport SMS (Focus Area: Non-Movement Area and Ramp Safety; Sub-topic: Practices/General Guidance) - Research and develop guidance around involving ramp towers in a local airport's SMS. Explore options for the airport's role in safety oversight given that ramp towers can involve several organizations operating under separate safety management approaches. (Research)  Predictive Safety Analytics (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Assurance) - Conduct research toward the creation of a report that provides recommendations to airports on the data that can be used in a proactive and predictive way, providing airport decision makers with information to make safety decisions to prevent accidents. (Research)

Research Roadmap on Safety Issues 21  Airport SMS Software Best Practices and Desirable Characteristics (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Risk Management) - Develop practical guidance on the software attributes to support the airport's SMS initiatives. The results of the synthesis should include a list of available solutions with advantages and disadvantages based on the complexity and needs of the airport. (Synthesis)  Structuring the Airport Safety Organization (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Policy) - Conduct research on options airports can consider when deciding on an organizational structure for their personnel who will manage airport safety processes. The research should provide recommended structures for airports of all sizes and complexities. (Research) 5.6 Priority Block 6 – Beyond 5-Years  Guidebook for Applying SRM to Daily Airport Operations (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Risk Management) - Develop practical guidance to help airports operate SMS in routine, daily work involving findings of airfield inspections, airside maintenance activities, wildlife hazards and ramp activities. (Research)  Safety Risk Management – Deciding on a Risk Matrix (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Risk Management) - Conduct research on the variations and efficacy of risk matrices used by airports with SMS in place, and other organizations and industries with mature risk management processes. (Synthesis)  Guidebook for Integrating Safety Assurance with Safety Risk Management (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub-topic: Assurance) - Develop practical guidance for airports implementing safety management processes on how to integrate two key components of SMS: Safety Risk Management and Safety Assurance. (Research)  Best Practices in Pavement Maintenance (Focus Area: Non-Movement Area and Ramp Safety; Sub-topic: Infrastructure) - Develop a practical guidebook for addressing safe pavement maintenance and repair for airside areas involving routine, non-routine and emergency situations. (Synthesis)  FOD – Sources and Solutions for an Ever Present Airport Safety Hazard (Focus Area: Non- Movement Area and Ramp Safety; Sub-topic: Practices/General Guidance) - Develop guidance to assist airports in understanding the most common sources of foreign Object debris (FOD) and effective solutions to managing the associated risk of this hazard. (Synthesis)  Effective Practices for Airport Safety Promotion (Focus Area: Safety Management; Sub- topic: Promotion) - Conduct research and create a report detailing effective practices airports can use to promote safety programs and enhance safety performance by airport personnel and employees of airport stakeholders. (Research)  Best Practices to Mapping of Subsurface Utilities Prior to Construction (Focus Area: Airport Loses; Sub-topic: Infrastructure) - Develop practical guidance for airports on how to map existing utilities, preferably without excavations, to avoid damage during airside

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With the airport industry's introduction and early adoption of safety management systems (SMS), safety processes are taking on a more proactive way of doing the business while continuously improving safety. This shift in approach will drive safety research in the near and long-term future.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program'sACRP Web-Only Document 50: Research Roadmap on Safety Issues reveals evidence of this shift, with input from the industry clearly indicating that more detailed guidance on, and the sharing of lessons learned regarding the elements and processes falling under the SMS umbrella, is needed.

Two supplemental files accompany this web-only document, including a Safety Research Topics Database and a Visual Research Roadmap.

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