social networks

Aviation safety social network hits the 100 member mark

Clare McDonald

Airlines including British Airways and EasyJet are among 100 organisations using a new social network for air safety.

Operated by aviation solutions developer Vistair, the Air Safety Central network allows companies in the aviation industry to share issues with other airlines.

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One customer, budget airline EasyJet, identified 50% more issues than before it started using Vistair’s alternative safety reporting system SafetyNet.

Vistair has found that providing a private social environment has further increased the amount of safety data being shared throughout the industry.

TAG Aviation, a member of Air Safety Central, found a minor problem with one of its aircraft and reported it using the network. 

“We put it on to Air Safety Central and within hours I had an email from one of our customers to say they had the same problem," said Malcolm Rusby, head of safety at TAG Aviation.

Ian Herbert, CEO of Vistair, said: “Social networking enables people to communicate with each other on all sorts of levels, usually in a slightly informal way.” 

According to Herbert, allowing more open discussion will increase the data flow between members of Air Safety Central, leading to an increase in safety. 

“I believe strongly that you should deformalise these issues because that makes them more current," he said.

Herbert also believes that allowing anonymity will increase the number of faults shared due to airlines having less fear of negative press as a result of sharing incidents with others in the industry. 

“Our products tend to increase the amount of data that [airlines] can collect, and by definition the more data you’ve got the more you know," he said.

With more data, airlines will be in a position to resolve more issues, which can improve their overall safety record.


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