PROSPERO - Proactive Safety Performance for Operations
State of the Art
New international regulation for aviation organizations and for states demands an approach to safety that is preventive and proactive rather than reactive, is performance driven, and able to deliver verifiable improvement. However, this cannot be realized without the capability to anticipate and prevent complex system accidents and this is lacking in the following ways. The most used risk assessment methodologies are based on expert judgment unsupported by extensive data. Anticipation of specific risks is not fine-tuned enough for preparation for potential emergencies to be integrated into normal everyday operational planning. There is no integrated risk metric for the Air Transport System that allows risks of different types and sources to be assessed with reference to each other. The lack of a system-wide risk metric makes it impossible for system improvements to be evaluated against a projected risk reduction target. There is no standard for safety performance that a regulator can use to audit, evaluate or require an operator to improve its safety system.
PROSPERO seeks to address these issues through a common performance management concept designed around two active management cycles, one concerning the real-time management of risk in operations (operational loop) and the other concerning system change and redesign (system change loop).
In the Operational Loop, risk information is generated from integrated streams of data and reports, linking performance outcomes back to their process antecedents, encompassing complex interactions. Up-to-date risk information, concerning the aircraft, crew, route, weather, is then embedded in the normal channels of information supply for flight planning and management. This enables the anticipation and mitigation of threats to become an explicit part of flight operations planning and management both before and during flights and triggering specific feedback about the management of those risks.
The same risk information also triggers the System Change Loop, but here the focus is on identifying solutions and initiating a progressive process of systemic risk reduction. Solutions are proposed, developed and taken up by those who are capable of implementing them, whether they involve infrastructure, technologies, information systems, business and management processes, or human resources. Both development and implementation of these solutions are driven by projected system risk reduction. Their implementation is accompanied by comparing these projections with actual outcomes, taking into account the risks involved in the design and change processes.
While risk is most salient for the individual owner of that risk (e.g. a corporation), gaining leverage over risk at a system level requires an integrated analysis to support a coordinated response of all air transport stakeholders. Creating this collaboration in a competitive environment depends on demonstrating common system benefits. A major goal for PROSPERO is to demonstrate the efficacy of both Operational and System Change loops at an air transport system level, involving Air Traffic Management, airport operations, flight operations, ground operations and maintenance.
At the level at which the system is regulated (for example, the Single European Sky) performance is a function of the integrated activity of the ATS, not just one component. This is also the level where a larger, more powerful, dataset can be collected and integrated. Enabling the regulator to have effective oversight of both the Operational Loop and the System Change Loop at local and regional ATS levels and within individual organizations, can give assurance that the risks identified are actually being managed and provides the basis for smarter and more cost-effective regulation.
Description of work
PROSPERO is developing its work in four stages. A specification of the needs and wants of the industry at three levels (single organizations, aviation system, and regulatory level) leads to the design of the PROSPERO model and plans for its trial implementation. The development and integration of the components of both the Operational and System Change loops addresses the three levels (organization, local system, regulated system) that comprise the whole aviation system. The tools, methodologies and processes that comprise the PROSPERO system will be applied in two test beds. In parallel to these stages the system will be evaluated against industry needs and the emerging results will be disseminated and prepared for exploitation.
PROSPERO will develop, implement and evaluate a prototype management system for identifying and actively managing systemic risks, including complex interactions, in the Air Transport System. The analysis of diverse operational data will support an integrated model of risk incorporating the key risk antecedents. This risk information will enhance the normal supply of information into planning, dispatch and operational management throughout the ATS, so that potential risks are designed out in planning or actively managed in operations and potential emergencies are anticipated. This systemic risk information will also set improvement parameters for a System Change Loop of solution development and implementation. This risk management system will be initiated at organizational level and then integrated in a common ATS framework that can be scalable up to European level (Single European Sky).