Montreal - The International Air Transport Association (IATA), along with three governmental aviation safety organizations, today signed an agreement to launch the Global Safety Information Exchange. Creating a comprehensive global information exchange to improve safety is the most ambitious private/public safety partnership in aviation history.

IATA, together with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the US Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Commission of the European Union (EC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create the framework and path forward to launch the Global Safety Information Exchange. The MOU signing took place following the opening session of the ICAO Assembly and was signed by IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani, ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin, US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, and EU Vice President Siim Kallas.

“Air is the safest way to travel. We achieved this level of safety precisely because governments and industry have cooperated transparently to identify risks and implement solutions. Today’s agreement takes the long history of cooperation to a new level by tearing down silos around the data that we have and sharpening our focus on the greatest risks to aviation safety,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“We have a long history of working together with governments using global standards to lower the accident rate. In 1945, there were 9 million passengers and 247 fatalities. In 2009, 2.3 billion people flew with 685 fatalities. Every fatality is a human tragedy and reminds us that we must do better. Today’s agreement signals a new era of multilateral cooperation between industry and government to make the skies safer,” said Bisignani.

The four organizations will start their cooperation by selecting the safety information each group currently collects, which would be the most relevant to the goal of improving safety by risk reduction. IATA will make the largest contribution of airline data by providing de-identified information from the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) program. This will include de-identified information from the 345 airlines that are on the IOSA registry (230 IATA members and 115 non-members). IOSA sets the standard of safety for airlines and aggregated IOSA audit information will complement audit information from the other partners in developing global safety priorities.

A steering group will be formed and will have representatives from each of the four organizations. ICAO will act as the coordinator of the information exchange.

The 2009 global accident rate, measured in hull losses per million flights of Western-built jet aircraft, was 0.71. Through the first six months of 2010, the accident rate was 0.64. Compared to 10 years ago, the accident rate has been cut 36% from the 1.11 rate recorded in 2000.

Read Bisignani's full remarks


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Notes for Editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) created the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) in 2001, focused on air carrier organizations, operational management and control systems
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created the International Aviation Safety Assessments (IASA) audit program in 1992, focused on State conformance with ICAO annexes 1, 6, and 8
  • The European Commission established the Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) audit program in 1996, focused on air carrier operational performance and compliance
  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) created the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP) in January 1999, focused on State oversight capability and compliance with ICAO annexes
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