Press release, 12th November, 2015
Aviation sector collaborates to make ultra-safe travel even safer
-Research project achieves breakthrough in sharing of information across Air Transport System-
As passenger flights in Europe are due to increase by 8,000 every day over the next four years, a new way of anticipating and reducing risks in air travel is urgently needed. PROSPERO (Proactive Safety Performance for Operations) delivers an innovative concept of safety management using risk knowledge to prevent potential crises. Over the past three years, this EU project, coordinated by Trinity College Dublin (TCD), has demonstrated that data sharing and collaboration in the ATS is feasible and delivers a competitive advantage for all partners. It contributes to the EU’s aim of reducing the air accident rate by 80% by 2020, and achieving a substantial improvement in the elimination of and recovery from human error.
Up to now, risk identification and prevention has depended on companies’ analysing their own data in isolation, and often when system faults have already occurred, leading to management of risk in a fragmented and reactive way.
PROSPERO has achieved a breakthrough by developing a network of collaboration between key partners across Europe such as airlines, airports, Air Traffic Control and ground operations. These partners share data in return for valuable risk knowledge that allows them to more effectively control and manage their businesses. PROSPERO’s risk knowledge comes from sourcing and collating large and diverse data sources. The data is processed, integrated, analysed, undergoes a pattern matching process, and is fed back to the owners. It emphasises the precursors of risk and identifies what needs to change to prevent and mitigate risk. PROSPERO takes a proactive rather than a reactive approach to identifying risk by analysing normal operations (what has gone right) as opposed to analysing systems failures (what has gone wrong).
Prof. Nick McDonald, coordinator of the project at TCD, says:
“In the PROSPERO project, we have examined some of the most common preventable safety risks in the Air Transport System (ATS), such as bird strikes and de-icing. With increasing air passenger numbers, these and other risks need to be addressed in a holistic way. PROSPERO has achieved a breakthrough in convincing different ATS actors to collaborate and share data, in the interests of the safety of the wider sector, as well as passengers. PROSPERO is working towards identifying and preventing risk in the aviation sector, and ultimately making what is an ultra-safe way to travel, even safer”.
While air travel is ultra-safe, air traffic in Europe is expected to increase from 22,000 daily flights to 30,000 daily flights between now and 2020. Maintaining current safety levels will become more challenging for airlines and airports. Risk knowledge, which integrates data from different sources, leading to more powerful models of risk, will be key to facing this challenge.
“PROSPERO has demonstrated that commercially competitive companies are willing and able to share information in conditions of trust, when confidentiality can be assured, and when this information is used to identify and manage system risks,” says Prof. McDonald. “The benefits for the ATS are widespread and represent new ways of approaching risk analysis in a holistic way, as opposed the current approach based only on the analysis of single categories of data and occurrences. This means that safety can now be approached in an integrated manner at operational level with all the parties contributing to the aviation transport service.”
Earlier this year, PROSPERO hosted an EU engagement event at the European Parliament in Brussels – moderated by Marian-Jean Marinescu MEP – to share its findings. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also hosted a PROSPERO workshop in summer 2015 to discuss potential benefits for regulation and for national and European authorities.
PROSPERO (Proactive Safety Performance for Operations) is a European Seventh Framework research project focusing on developing new ways to anticipate risks and improve aviation safety. It commenced in 2012 and ends in 2015. The project comprises 14 partner organisations across seven countries, including end-users, industry, SMEs and academic partners.
For more information, visit www.prosperofp7.eu. Follow developments of the PROSPERO project on Twitter: @PROSPEROFP7
Visit our project exhibition stand at the event and find out more about how PROSPERO can help you and your work – you can find us at Stand 5-16 in the Avionics section, Windsor Room, 5th Floor.
"Join the Journey" on Tuesday 13th October 2015 (10.30 – 13.00 CET) to find out how PROSPERO can benefit you and your work.
Issue 2 of the PROSPERO e-newsletter has been released featuring articles by project members Siobhan Corrigan, KTH and Mark Sujan along with an article on "Performance Management in a Regional Airport", focusing on Abruzzo Airport, co-written by Diana Del Sordo, M.Chiara Leva and Fabio Mattei.
Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has recently announced the addition of a new online Masters/Postgraduate Diploma course–‘Managing Risk & System Change’. This is a part-time two year programme which will commence in September 2015, and run for two years. It will be led by the Centre of Innovative Human Systems (CIHS) within the School of Psychology in TCD.
MEPs attend PROSPERO Project Event to Learn About Groundbreaking Advances in Aviation Safety Systems
• The EU is working to reduce the aviation accident rate by 80%
PROSPERO Project Event in the European Parliament Previewing the Next Generation of Aviation Safety and Risk Management
On Tuesday the 3rd February next, PROSPERO will host a lunchtime networking event with Sean Kelly MEP (Full Member of the Industry Research and Energy Committee) in the European Parliament in Brussels. This event will showcase the ground breaking advances that have been made by PROSPERO in the area of aviation safety management. The meeting will include a live industry panel discussion with leading experts including regulators, airlines and safety managers. Project coordinator, Professor Nick McDonald from Trinity College in Dublin will deliver the keynote address at this event – ‘Proactive Safety Performance for ATS operations’. Eddie Shaw of Carr Communications (exploitation and dissemination project partner) will also deliver a presentation entitled ‘Exploitation of PROSPERO for other high risk industries, e.g. Nuclear, Medicine and Transport’.
Issue 1 of the PROSPERO e-newsletter has been released featuring articles by project members Siobhan Corrigan, Daniele Baranzini, Tom Kontogiannis, Massimiliano Zanin and Mark Sujan.
Next Tuesday 8th April, PROSPERO partners will meet with the project's Advisory Board in Rome to update them on recent developments. The meeting with facilitate a walk-through of the PROSPERO system and further progress the implementation scenarios, incluidng a regulatory case study.
The Advisory Board is an important element of the PROSPERO project. It was established to ensure that the project remains connected to the real needs and objectives of the aviation industry, and gives partners the opportunity to hear the viewpoints, needs and concerns of the main actors in Europe. Members of the Board are key institutional stakeholders, from both industry and regulation backgrounds.
Members from PROSPERO's 14 partner organisations will meet at Trinity College Dublin next week, from Monday 24th to Wednesday 26th February.
Partners will participate in a number of discussions, interactive workshops and work-out sessions to examine case study plans and actions, and functional demonstration of the PROSPERO system integration, as well as evaluation of case studies and the integration concept.
A short video of highlights of the meeting will be produced and available on the website in the coming months.
Next week, a group of 20 PROSPERO partners will gather in Milan, Italy for an intensive two day Work Package 5 workshop.
The main objective of WP5 is to organise and perform a set of Case Studies to support the actual development and implementation of the PROSPERO methodology at different levels of application.
Three sets of case studies will be designed and carried out, according to the three levels within the PROSPERO approach:
1. Organisational level
2. System level
3. Regulation level
PROSPERO partners will meet on 12th & 13th December to finalise these Case Studies that will be performed in the project, collaborating through working groups, plenary sessions and presentations.
WP3 Data & System Specification Work-Shop - 31st July & 1st August 2013, School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin.
In March 2013, around 20 PROSPERO partners came to Aerporto di Roma from across Europe for an intensive two day workshop.
Last week the European Aviation Safety Agency released the third edition (2013-2016) of the European Aviation Safety Plan (EASp).
PROSPERO’s inaugural meeting took place on 21st and 22nd November 2012 in Dublin, Ireland, which marked the kick off of the project. All partner organizations attended, along with members of the advisory board and the Project Officer from the European Commission.
Work is now underway on the first set of deliverables.