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Avionics Safety –
Overcoming the Future
Aviation Challenges Through
Viable Safety Solutions

Airline accidents is a major concern amongst flight operators today and to limit these accidents, focus on zero-compromise aviation safety should be at the forefront of everything else.

The global aviation industry has witnessed several fatal accidents over the past few years. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a total of 5 fatal accidents that involved loss of life of the crew members as well as the passengers, were recorded in the year 2022. Further, in the same year, the fatal accident rate was recorded to be 0.16 per million sectors, while the all accident rate was 1.21 per million sectors. Fatality risk, on the other hand, touched 0.11 while 1 fatal accident with 19 fatalities was being experienced by one of the member airlines of the IATA in the year 2022. Here is a list of the top aviation mishaps & their real causes:

  • The Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash in San Francisco resulted from the crew's improper attempt to land on a short runway at an airport with poor visibility.
  • The TWA Flight 800 explosion and subsequent fire were due to explosives placed in the airplane by terrorists before takeoff from JFK Airport in New York City.
  • Qantas Flight 2036 struck a duck just after takeoff, resulting in engine failure and losing control while airborne over open water near Batemans Bay, Australia.
  • United Airlines flights had red flags raised during their pre-flight safety assessments as a result of problems with their respective engines: UA 1989 (flying out of Newark), AA 4000 (flying into Chicago O'Hare) & AL 3272 (flying out of Houston Bush Intercontinental).
  • Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crashed over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, including 283 passengers and 12 crew members. This aircraft was shot down by Russian-backed rebels with a Buk surface-to-air missile near Donetsk International Airport while en route to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands with Dutch citizens aboard.
  • Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961: A Boeing 737-200 crashed while approaching Rome's Fiumicino Airport after losing cabin pressure and experiencing mechanical difficulties. All 157 passengers and crew were killed in what was at the time one of Europe's worst air disasters.
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Primary Goals of Avionics Safety

Aviation safety targets are guidelines that governments and aviation industries have agreed upon to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) established these standards in response to the crash of TWA Flight 800, which killed all 230 people on board.

The primary emphasis of aviation safety management is flight safety, which includes all related support services that influence safety, including air navigation services and airport operations management. The term "Safety Management System" refers to the systematic integration of proactive safety management components (SMS).

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  • Electrical Shock - Pilots must be aware of potential electrical shocks and ensure that their equipment is properly grounded. This includes aircraft wiring and external devices, including laptop computers and portable radios. Anytime pilots work with electricity, it's essential to use proper safety precautions, including wearing protective gear, gloves, and earplugs, and keeping the workspace clean so any stray sparks don't create a dangerous fire. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that 4.7% of fatal occupational accidents are caused by electricity.
  • In-Flight Fires - People on board an aircraft is exposed to hazardous gases or flames during an aircraft fire, which results in catastrophic harm to both the plane and the occupants. The failure to perceive hot locations in the aircraft, including engine compartments, detect fuel faults right once, maintain composure under pressure, and never leave someone behind are all crucial skills for pilots. As per our analysis, during the past 26 years, there were 95 fire-related civil passenger aircraft accidents, with a total death toll of almost 2400.
  • Fatigue & Crash Risk - Lack of sleep and long work hours cause weariness, which raises the chance of an accident. Lack of sleep has been associated with both poorer performance and an increase in flying mistakes. Although aviation accidents are very few, they happen, and 80% of them are due to human error, and of those, it is thought that between 15% and 20% are due to pilot fatigue.
  • Thunderstorm-Induced Electromagnetic Incidents - Take precautions to shield yourself from possible electromagnetic events in the case of a thunderstorm (EMIs). The world experienced roughly 2000 thunderstorms. These thunderstorms provide the SR background signal by producing 50 thunderstorms per second.
  • Radio Frequency Interference - The usage of a wireless device near an electronic device, including an aircraft's avionics, causes Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). This kind of interference affects the system negatively, resulting in diminished performance or possibly equipment damage. These can be eliminated by using insulated wires or RF filter to reduce the risk of RFI harming the equipment or interfering with overall flight. Installing anti-jamming software on wireless equipment is an additional alternative. To preserve the highest level of safety for the pilots and the passengers, it is essential to deactivate Wi-Fi during flights if that is only practicable partially.

Proactive Safety

Management in the Aviation Industry

A good strategy for safety management in the aviation industry is based on adhering to a risk management plan that entails seeing dangers before they manifest as incidents or accidents and taking the required steps to lower the vulnerabilities. A proactive safety management plan includes the following elements:

  • Utilizing cutting-edge risk assessment techniques for hazard detection and risk assessment.
  • Taking competent examination of safety-related incidents that aims to identify flaws in the overall safety system.
  • Creating a workplace safety culture that supports ethical behavior and promotes communication about security in a non-punitive setting.
  • Providing focused safety instruction to the staff members.

The targets comprise six areas: air traffic management, aircraft design and construction, operating procedures, crew training, airport operations, and emergency preparedness and response. By reducing the risks associated with flying by implementing best practices in these areas, flying can be made safer for everyone involved.


Aviation Safety:

The Most Crucial Aspect of a Pilot's Career

The most critical component of a pilot's profession is, without a doubt, aviation safety. Safe flying depends on many factors, including landing techniques, air traffic control systems, and aircraft engines. Actual pilots use these abilities daily to keep passengers secure while flying. With the global increase in hiring of pilots, it is equally necessary that every minute details in aircraft safety should be focused upon by these pilots. Our analysts found that between 2021 and 2031, airline and commercial pilots' employment would increase overall by 6%. On the other hand, in the United States itself, a total of about 13000 pilots were being hired by the end of 2022, up from about 5500 pilots that were hired in the year 2021. The following list of five crucial aviation safety considerations must be at the top of the list for the pilots:

  • Being aware of nearby other aircraft and ground markers at all times.
  • Using correct flying methods when avoiding birds or other airborne objects. Trying to avoid flying in snowy weather.
  • Keeping an eye out for turbulence and keeping the overall alertness level consistent when traveling on high-risk routes.
  • Paying attention to the surroundings at all times, even while resting still.

Who all are Responsible for

Aviation Safety?

Aviation safety responsibilities generally fall into three categories: pilots, aircraft engineers, and air traffic controllers.

  • Pilots are responsible for guiding planes through the airspace and ensuring they remain safe during their journey.
  • Aircraft engineers design and maintain planes and ensure that they meet all applicable government regulations.
  • Air traffic controllers direct aircraft movements according to specific flight plans and assign them to them based on weather conditions or other factors. Their job is also to monitor radio communications to avoid potential collisions between airplanes.

Aviation safety is a complex and ever-changing task that involves many different players. While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plays an important role, other agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), play an indispensable role in investigating aviation accidents and making recommendations to prevent future incidents. The FAA oversees all aspects of civil aviation in the United States, including air traffic control, aircraft certification, airline operations, and airport security. The FAA also administers a system for controlling airspace used by civilian pilots and military aircraft.


How can Aircraft Safety be Improved?

Aviation safety can be improved by implementing organizational change, better training and protocols for workers, and more effective communication.

  • Organizational change refers to companies that operate aircraft revising their hierarchical structure so that all personnel knows their role in safety drills and incidents. This will help ensure that everyone understands how they contribute to an incident or drill scenario and reduces the potential for confusion or chaos.
  • Better training eliminates employee learning gaps and increases knowledge about safe work practices. Employees who receive proper instruction are less likely to make dangerous mistakes during a crisis. According to the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), 30% of those who complete a program in aviation maintenance eventually take a job in a different sector.
  • Finally, effective communication enables staff members to understand each other's roles inside and outside an alarm clock environment.
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Conclusion

The future of avionics safety would definitely boom in the upcoming years. The huge investments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools, followed by the rapid advancements in Big Data, could all be seen as a promising way of promoting safety in the field of aviation. On the other hand, with the growing adoption of electronic vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM), the focus on prioritizing safety is at the forefront of everything else. These would hereby open the doors for businesses worldwide to develop more sophisticated safety systems in the years to come.

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Swara Keni

Head- Global Business Development

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