Identifying the value of ATM safety data

27 November 2018

Alastair Muir, Director of Safety, NATS, explores the value of safety benchmarking at the CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference 2018.

Although no stranger to CANSO events throughout my years in ATM, this is my first CANSO Global ATM Safety Conference following my appointment as the NATS Safety Director.

Yesterday’s CANSO Safety Benchmarking - Identified Data session was one for which I had high expectations as a firm believer that one of the key ways to improve safety performance is to share with and learn from others.

That is not to say that learning cannot be achieved from unidentified data but, from a personal perspective, there is far more opportunity for learning when the data source is known and more direct and informed conversations and comparisons can follow – and yesterday totally confirmed that view.

The comparisons were informed by safety data from across the CANSO membership and this gave a good level of relevance, but having an even wider data input from other CANSO members would always add further to the bandwidth of the data and the subsequent richness of safety learning.

The personal points of learning that came out of yesterday's sessions were many, too many to pay justice to in this short blog. But to name only a few: safety comparison gives valuable insights and does not have to be resource and time intensive; the CANSO Safety Management System maturity model is both leading edge and demonstrating clear safety capability improvement; the ATM industry needs to continue the development of alternative and dynamic safety measures looking at risk not only compliance; and we need to be leading and supporting these developments as other stakeholders actively consider both new uses of data and potential legislation.

I think it would be fair to say that achieving maximum value from openly sharing how the participating organisations are maintaining or improving their safety is in itself in the process of learning, it would be contradictory if it was not! But providing a valuable platform of safety learning was delivered through yesterday’s session.

I certainly came away with both a feeling of comfort with my own organisation’s safety performance, as well as areas for consideration, both internal and with others, of opportunities to consider how we can improve.

Thanks to all that made today possible!




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About the author

Alastair Muir Director of Safety, NATS

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