All 70 scheduled U.S. airlines meet the deadline to have an accepted Safety Management System (SMS) in place by March 2018.

Congress passes the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-254) which includes numerous safety provisions, such as Voluntary reports of operation or maintenance issues related to aviation safety, call to action airline engine safety review, and advanced cockpit displays.

The next GOES-R series geostationary weather satellite is launched; designated GOES-17 (GOES West). [See:]  According to NOAA and NASA, the GOES-R series “… will allow researchers to observe cloud and surface changes more rapidly and in greater detail to help predict weather, as well as to map lightning flashes for early warnings of storm intensification and to monitor solar radiation for better forecasting of space weather and early warnings of possible impacts to the Earth environment. [See:]

The newest geostationary weather satellite, GOES-R, is launched; designated GOES-16 (GOES East), this satellite marks a vast improvement over the previous aging GOES satellites. [See:] Experts describe the GOES-R as “game-changing technological advances that lead to improved storm monitoring and weather forecast.” [See:]

ASIAS participation grows to include “…data from 41 airlines, which according to FAA represents 99 percent of air carrier operations.” [See:]

Existing first officer ATP deadline; existing first officers were grandfathered under the old rules by the FAA in 2013; they are required to have their ATP as of March 2016.

FAA issues new safety standards for cargo compartments that raised the level of safety for certain cargo compartment configurations eliminating the need for a person to enter a cargo compartment to fight a fire.

FAA rolls out the Safety Assurance System (SAS) to create a standardized risk-based, data-supported oversight system across Flight Standards Service (FS), Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (AXH), and other Aviation Safety (AVS) Offices. SAS is the FAA’s oversight tool to perform certification, surveillance, and Continued Operational Safety (COS). (See:]   “SAS is a sophisticated, interactive computer system that draws safety data from numerous and varied sources. It helps alert FAA safety inspectors to areas of an airline’s operation on which they should focus their oversight.” [See:]

NASA celebrates 40 years of the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS).  As of September 2016, NASA states, “Since the implementation of the Aviation Safety Reporting System, approximately 1.4 million reports have been submitted by pilots, dispatchers, mechanics, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, ground personnel, and others….Over the past 40 years, the ASRS has issued more than 6,200 safety alerts to the FAA and other decision makers in the aviation community who are in a position to correct unsafe conditions. Recent alerts have addressed a wide range of safety issues, including air traffic departure procedures, aircraft equipment problems, airport signage and marking issues, confusion among similar-sounding navigation fixes, or positions, and aeronautical chart deficiencies.”  [See:]

Congress passes the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act (P.L. 114-190) which includes a number of time sensitive and critical safety mandates, including cockpit automation management, enhanced mental health screening for pilots, and enhanced training for flight attendants.

Washington State University – RAA publish Pilot Fatigue Study entitled, “Simulator Experiment on Fatigue in Multi-Segment Operations” in cooperation with ALPA. [See:]

En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) replaces the 40-year-old En Route Host computer and backup system used at 20 FAA Air Route Traffic Control Centers nationwide. For controllers, ERAM’s trajectory modeling is more accurate, allowing maximum airspace use, better conflict detection and improved decision making. [See:]

FAA, in partnership with National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), launches the Safety Review Process (SRP), to allow FAA employees who work in the Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) to elevate safety concerns without fear of retaliation.

FAA requires all scheduled U.S. airlines to have accepted Safety Management System (SMS) in place by March 2018. All 70 airlines meet that deadline.

FAA implements the First Officer Qualification Rule, which, in addition to adding airline transport pilot (ATP) requirements for first officers, promulgates stall and upset training, time in type, multi-engine time, cross country time, and a new ATP Certification Training Program (CTP) course.

FAA publishes a final rule for Flight Crew Member Duty and Rest Requirements.

Congress passes the FAA Modernization and Reform Act (P.L.112-95) which includes numerous aviation safety mandates, such as cabin crew communication, prohibition on personal use of electronic devices on flight deck, runway safety, and duty periods and flight time limitations applicable to flight crew members.

The Technical Operations Safety Action Program (T-SAP) becomes available to FAA technical operations employees. “T-SAP is an agreement between the FAA and PASS that allows technicians represented by PASS and other non-bargaining unit Technical Operations employees the opportunity to report potential safety hazards voluntarily and confidentially.” [See:]

U.S. commercial air carrier fleet begins operating updated and improved Traffic Collision Avoidance System, TCAS II Version 7.1. TCAS equipage on all passenger carrying aircraft with more than 30 seats flying in U.S. airspace was first required in 1991. [See:]

FAA deploys all Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model-X (ASDE-X) by the end of 2010. “ASDE-X enables air traffic controllers to detect potential runway conflicts by providing detailed coverage of movement on runways and taxiways. [See:]

FAA first publishes its ANPRM on First Officer Qualifications. Administrator J. Randolph Babbitt explained the rule during Congressional testimony: “I know some people are suggesting that simply increasing the minimum number of hours required for a pilot to fly in commercial aviation is appropriate. As I have stated repeatedly, I do not believe that simply raising quantity – the total number of hours of flying time or experience – without regard to the quality and nature of that time and experience – is an appropriate method by which to improve a pilot’s proficiency in commercial operations… There is a difference between knowing a pilot has been exposed to all critical situations during training versus assuming that simply flying more hours automatically provides that exposure.” [See:]

Congress passes the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act which includes provisions to address airline safety and pilot training, including adding requirements to pilot training curriculum, requiring all Part 121 air carrier pilots to have an ATP, increasing the number of flight hours required for an ATP, requiring all Part 121 air carriers to implement Safety Management Systems (SMS), developing mentoring and professional development programs for pilots, following up with air carriers on efforts to adopt voluntary safety programs, establishing a new Pilot Records Database (PRD), and updating flight and duty time regulations for Part 121air carriers.

FAA fully implements the Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP). Originally “…launched in 2008 as a collaborative effort between NATCA and the FAA …. ATSAP enables air traffic controllers to voluntarily identify and report safety and operational concerns. [See:]

FAA issues a Safety Call to Action in 2009, detailing a mix of rule changes and other measures, including securing airlines’ voluntary commitment to implementing safety management systems (SMS). Within one year of the call to action, the FAA approved dozens of new SMS programs. The FAA additionally conducted a two-part, focused review of air carrier flight crewmember training, qualification, and management practices.

“…[T]he fatality risk for commercial aviation in the United States fell 83 percent from 1998 to 2008.” According to a 2018 FAA Report, “CAST’s work, along with new aircraft, regulations, and other activities, has virtually eliminated the traditional common causes of commercial accidents – controlled flight into terrain, weather, wind shear, and failure to complete checklists.” [See:]

FAA and industry launches the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program, “a collaborative safety analysis and information sharing initiative that aids in the monitoring and identification of potential safety issues.” [ See:] ALPA describes ASIAS as follows: “….The predictive risk analysis conducted by the CAST and ASIAS allows the aviation community to collectively reach heightened levels of safety without waiting for a single drop of blood to be shed.” (See:, July 2019.)

Every turbine passenger aircraft carrying more than 10 passengers has to have an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS)/Terrain Avoidance Warning System, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

FAA requires all turbine-powered U.S.-registered airplanes configured with six or more passenger seats manufactured before 3/23/2002 to be equipped with an approved terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS). Controlled flight into terrain, one of the traditional common causes of commercial accidents, has been virtually eliminated.

FAA requires all newly manufactured turbine-powered U.S.-registered airplanes configured with six or more passenger seats to be equipped with an approved terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS). Controlled flight into terrain, one of the traditional common causes of commercial accidents, has been virtually eliminated.

FAA publishes the final rule codifying enforcement protection for Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) programs. “A FOQA program involves the analysis of digital flight data generated during routine line operations in order to reveal situations that may require corrective action, to enable early intervention to correct adverse safety trends before they can lead to accidents, and to provide an objective means of following-up on corrective action to determine whether it has been effective.” [See:]

The Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (known as AIR-21) is signed into law and directs the FAA to issue a NPRM to protect air carriers and their employees from enforcement actions (other than criminal or deliberate acts) that are reported or discovered as a result of voluntary reporting programs.

President unveils the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) to encourage the voluntary reporting of safety issues and events that come to the attention of employees of certain certificate holders. Along with CAST, ASAP helps achieve the Administration’s goal of an 80 percent reduction in the commercial aviation accident rate by 2007. {See:]

FAA forms the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) which FAA describes as marking “an evolution beyond the traditional approach of examining accident data to a proactive approach that focuses on detecting risk and implementing mitigation strategies before accidents or serious incidents occur.” [See:]