Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) is a program that focuses on providing operators in the commercial airlines the ability to implement corrective security by use of shared information categorized as de-identified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The information equips FAA with the capacity to analyze and monitor operational security risk trends in the commercial airline industry. The information also referred to as aggregate de-identified shared information, is the main and critical variable used for the analysis of aircraft flights and other operations (Advisory Circular 2004).
Analytically, therefore, FOQA enables stakeholders to make prior identification of security trends in the industry particularly aimed at correcting situations that may lead to the occurrence of accidents (Ramana, n.d).
The FOQA Characteristics
FOQA is characteristically pro-activeness and relies on trend analysis instead of sorties which focus on individuals. The FOQA framework is based on continuous data analyses through observations of the security trends in the industry. It is tailored to operate in a non-punitive environment (Ramana, n.d). “It is important to note that the interactive nature of FOQA’s core elements generates the synergy required to fulfill the efficient functioning of FOQA” (Ramana, n.d).
Parts addressed by FOQA
The rationale for FOQA is to reduce the level of accidents in the aviation industry by designing and establishing benchmarks to help address the occurrence of accidents and the risks associated with the occurrence of fatal accidents that have been witnessed in the industry (Ramana, n.d). In addition to that, the concept is proactive and revolves around implementing flight safety measures based on an analysis of large quantities of data on a continuous basis (Ramana, n.d).
FOQA’s operational characteristics include identifying, capturing, and analyzing data under the management of a monitoring team. The identification and capture of data are from discreet sources. Typically, airports are equipped with ground data capture and analysis tools to inform any corrective course of action for the sake of safety. Once designate data has been captured, it is analyzed based on various categorization schemes through which FOQA is implemented as discussed below (Advisory Circular, 2004).
Actions to Implement the Program
Implementation of the FOQA program occurs in a non-punitive and interactive environment. Typically, large quantities of data are collected under the above-mentioned environment through the actions of the operator. Among the actions include data acquisition during a flight which is analyzed through expert software which is incorporated into an aircraft’s mechanism (Advisory Circular, 2004).
To achieve efficient data acquisition, an operator needs to design and identify a plan for data collection to be analyzed specifically to address corrective safety actions. Thus, to fulfill the latter objective, an operator needs to be well versed with corrective procedures outlined in the FAA framework. In addition to that, a framework needs to be identified that incorporates a data map that details data storage and presentation formats appropriate to address safety corrective measures (Advisory Circular, 2004).
To fulfill the whole purpose of FOQA, it is necessary for operators to be conversant with flight safety procedures, to undergo flight training, be conversant with flight standards and quality assurance issues, and be well versed with engineering and maintenance standards (Advisory Circular, 2004).
In summary, the operator should be thoroughly conversant with FOQA operational procedures including documentation, line procedures, line operations, fueling of aircraft, evaluation of weather information, and passenger operations (Air transportation -Recommended practices for contracted air operations, 2008).
Advisory Circular. (2004). Flight operational quality assurance. Web.
Air transportation -Recommended practices for contracted air operations. (2008). International Association of Oil and Gas Producers. Web.
Ramana, M.V. (n.d). Flight Operational Quality Assurance through Exploitation of Flight Data Recorders. Report 420. Web.