Introducing the FAA Safety Team

Oct. 9, 2006
The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) will be launched on Oct. 1, 2006 coinciding with the sunset of the FAA's Aviation Safety Program (ASP).

The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) will be launched on Oct. 1, 2006 coinciding with the sunset of the FAA's Aviation Safety Program (ASP). The ASP's shotgun approach of educating airmen on all types of safety subjects has been successful at reducing accidents in the past. However, the easy to fix accident causes have all been addressed. In other words, the "low hanging fruit" has been harvested. To take aviation safety one step further, Flight Standards Service created the FAASTeam. The FAASTeam is devoted to reducing aircraft accidents by promoting a cultural change in the aviation community toward a higher level of safety.

To Further Reduce Accidents

To further reduce accidents the FAASTeam will use a coordinated effort to focus resources on particularly elusive accident causes. This will be accomplished by data mining/analysis, team work, instruction in the use of safety management systems/risk management tools, and development/distribution of educational materials. There's plenty of data available on aircraft accidents, but it's often difficult to determine exactly what should be done to reduce accidents from the data. The FAASTeam is developing a web-based Data Mart specifically designed to bring each FAASTeam program manager (FPM) the correct data for his/her geographic area. This will include accident data for airmen who live in the area, but actually had an accident in another area. This is an important new concept. In the past, accident data was summarized by where the accidents occurred. Programs to address those accident causes were developed and delivered in that area. But, the airmen who had the problem and others like them are not there to receive it. The FAASTeam will reach these airmen in their home areas. We're not likely to catch them hanging around the accident site.

FPMs will be trained to analyze the data and extract systemic and human factors problems that need to be addressed. The problems identified will be combined with information from local FAA inspectors who certify and perform surveillance on airmen and air operators. Together this data and information becomes the FPM's source data. The source data will be used to develop topics and tasks that the FPMs will weave into an annual business plan of actions. Regional FAASTeam managers (RFM) will coordinate and prioritize the actions of their FPMs into a cohesive and efficient regional plan. All of this effort is designed to ensure that resources are devoted to activities that will have the biggest effect on the safety culture and accident rate.

Team work will allow us to multiply our efforts beyond what the FPMs can do alone. The FAASTeam will develop symbiotic relationships with individuals and industry groups that have a vested interest in aviation safety. These individuals, FAASTeam representatives, will work closely with the FPMs to "touch" airmen with our safety message on a local level. The FAASTeam will "team" with the aviation industry to bring aviation safety to airmen on a broader scale. The coordinated effort of all these FAASTeam members is what will cause the safety culture to "tip" in the right direction. The FAASTeam will bring system safety to many segments of the aviation community that have not experienced it before. Aviation operators such as flight/mechanic schools and repair stations identified to have higher risk levels will be provided with training on how to develop their own safety management systems including the tools necessary to set up their own system. Individual airmen will be provided risk management training and tools via live seminars conducted by FAASTeam members and the web application at

New products for airmen and air groups are being developed. Although they cover many aviation topics, they focus on showing airmen how they can change their behavior to be consistent with the new safety culture.

Many Products Will Be Developed

Many products will be developed by working with our industry.

FAASTeam members and others will come from our National Resource Center (NRC). The NRC is collocated with the FAA Production Studios in Lakeland, Florida. This facility has the ability to take new product ideas from any of our FAASTeam Members and turn them into safety products in a variety of media. Then, they are duplicated, stored, and shipped (or beamed via satellite) wherever they are needed.

The Flight Standards Service has always been a world leader in aviation safety. Launching the FAASTeam is one more strategic step in supporting the FAA Administrator's goal of having the safest aviation system in the world. Go to for more information about the FAASTeam and sign up to receive important aviation safety information via e-mail. It's the first step to becoming part of the FAASTeam.

About the Author

Kevin Clover