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Industry supports ACID vision

ACID Project

The air cargo industry has been looking to IATA to establish an industry incident tracking mechanism and database. The database would track dangerous goods incidents, including those involving lithium batteries, cargo incidents in general and ULD incidents. 

The intelligence gained would then be used to highlight areas which need greater focus, as well as track if incidents reduce following campaigns and actions by IATA, ICAO and others.

ACID vision

In October 2016, the IATA Cargo Committee was presented with the Air Cargo Incident Database (ACID) vision: 

The air cargo incident database of de-identified airline incident reports offers a secure environment for airlines and ground handlers to pool safety and operations information, supporting a proactive data-driven approach for advanced trend analysis, predictive risk mitigation and improvement programs.” 

The IATA Cargo Committee has mandated IATA to explore the ACID vision and prioritized ACID project as one of the 5 StB Cargo projects. 

Global industry survey

As part of the exploration phase of ACID, and in order to define the right approach, IATA surveyed airlines and ground handlers from mid-June to end of July 2017 to understand their current practices in terms of cargo incident data collection and reporting. The survey also analyzed needs, expectations, capabilities and limitations to develop an effective global Air Cargo Incident Database. IATA’s objective with this survey was to collect industry feedback and use aggregated results to feed the recommendations on the ACID project moving forward.

241 answers were received: 172 from airline employees (110 unique airlines, including 86 IATA members) and 69 from cargo handler employees (62 unique cargo handlers). Outcomes are very positive and supportive of the ACID overall vision as well as the modernization of the Global Aviation Data Management (GADM) program.

Surveyed airlines and cargo handlers highlighted their top 3 requirements and their expectations regarding ACID’s value proposition: 
  1. Simplicity
  2. Data accuracy and quality
  3. Data protection
  • Become a benchmarking tool for participants, with regular useful reports and publications
  • Provide factual evidence to justify improvement programs, training, etc.
  • Help drive continuous improvement to improve safety and quality
  • Be a platform for best practices sharing & learning (through regional/local workshops for instance)

Ultimately, ACID should become a centralized database recognized by all aviation bodies and used as the main platform for all air cargo incident reporting, investigation etc. To be successful, ACID would need to be the standard reporting process and tool, with global participation and critical mass and buy-in from other stakeholders, including regulators.

Key facts & figures
  • 91% already collect data related to air cargo incidents, and 77% of them capture it electronically. They collect mainly safety incident data (87%), DG incident data (84%), operational incident data (76%), security incident data (73%), irregularities (69%) and damages (69%)
  • 67% would see value in having industry guidelines / standardized procedures to capture incident data
  • 74% think the industry would benefit from a database of global air cargo incidents and 69% think their company would also benefit from it
  • 44% do not have any concerns / do not see any risks in having a database of global air cargo incidents
  • 64% would accept to share their air cargo incident data if IATA was to pursue with ACID project
If you want to go further, download the full report!


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