2011

NASA’s Aviation Reporting System Improves Railroad Safety

The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA is serving as a model to create a similar safety reporting system for the Federal Railroad Association (FRA). The ASRS collects, analyzes, and responds to voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident reports in order to lessen the likelihood of aviation accidents. This system helped create the FRA’s new Confidential Close Call Reporting System, which allows employees to voluntarily and anonymously report “close call” incidents that could have resulted in an accident or injury.

altDuring its 34-year history, the ASRS has been highly successful. Each year, the ASRS receives approximately 56,000 aviation safety reports from frontline aviation personnel, including pilots, air traffic controllers, dispatchers, mechanics, and flight attendants. “The replication of the ASRS system in the railroad industry to provide assistance in realizing safety improvements is a welcome recognition of the success of ASRS and its numerous improvements to aviation safety,” said NASA ASRS Director Linda Connell.

Amtrak recently joined the reporting program, along with the Canadian Pacific Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, and the New Jersey Transit system. “The ASRS was chosen to be the model for the new pilot because it has been a proven successful model,” said Karen Rae, Deputy Administrator of the Department of Transportation. “We’re addressing human factors to get accidents down to zero.”

For more information about the Aviation Safety Reporting System, visit http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/.

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