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Committee’s Letter to GAO Requesting a Formal Review of NASA’s Air Safety Survey Data

Feb 4, 2008

February 4, 2008

David M. Walker
Comptroller General
Government Accountability Office
441 G Street., N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20548

Dear Mr. Walker,

In 1997, as a result of recommendations from the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security [1] the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) initiated a program to track aviation safety trends quantitatively; monitor the effects of technological and procedural changes to the National Aviation System and contribute to the development of a quantitative, data-driven basis for safety decisions.[2]  Most of the previous safety-related data bases were based on self-reports and therefore not statistically reliable to determine trends or the effects of changes to the aviation safety system.  NASA was selected to initiate this effort because of its success in operating the self-reporting Aviation Safety Reporting System.

[1] “White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security: Final Report to President Clinton,” February 12, 1997, Recommendation 1.8.

[2] Statler, I.C., Morrison, R. and Rosenthal, L.J., “Beyond Error Reporting Toward Risk Assessment,” in Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 2003


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110th Congress