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Jenn Lemmon
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Cutting Carbs and Tackling Our Top 5 Safety Issues

In the ATO, we decided we needed to renew our commitment to tackling our Continuous Top Five safety issues with a fresh perspective. Last week, we hosted the ATO Top Five Safety Summit and invited a cross-agency team of experts as well as members of industry. We wanted to be as collaborative as possible to benefit from the ideas of colleagues both inside and outside the FAA.

More than 130 participants came to the table prepared to discuss new corrective action plans and mitigation strategies. That wasn’t an easy request because we’ve been combating these persistent issues for years: altitude compliance, traffic advisory and safety alerts, PIREP solicitation and dissemination, wrong surface landings, and operational risk management.

At the summit, we learned that people had great individual ideas, but had been struggling to carve a path for the solutions because they couldn’t make the right connections across service units and lines of business. We made some important commitments to work and communicate better together.

One idea the group explored is harmonizing the phraseology the FAA uses on climb via/descend via with the phraseology that ICAO uses, and Air Traffic Services agreed to take the lead on that.

Another proposal that Safety and Technical Training suggested was to use the new mobile learning platforms, such as iPads, to employ more site-specific strategies for local training in traffic advisories and safety alerts.

Many other new strategies were discussed as well, and we all agreed that the summit was just the start of more conversation to come on these important topics.

I appreciate everyone stepping up to plan and participate in the summit, and more importantly, to take joint ownership of safety. Safety is a responsibility that belongs to every one of us.

Thanks everyone!


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