Right now, the US has one of the highest rates of airline injuries. There are no standard safety protocols and instead it is up to each pilot on their own discretion as what they choose to do in a crisis situation. However, this can lead to disastrous consequences such as landing at an airport that cannot accommodate large planes or failing completely and crashing. With almost $7 billion dollars lost annually due to medical expenses alone caused by these accidents, there is clearly room for improvement through increased regulation and public awareness campaigns
The “airline news” is a system that is backwards. It’s not like the airlines are trying to make money off of travelers, but they’re actually doing it. The airline industry needs to fix their system and stop making people pay for things that they don’t need.
How to Fix One Backwards System to Reduce Air Travel Injuries
on October 15, 2021 by Gary Leff
Turbulence is the leading cause of air travel injuries, according to the National Transportation Safety Board — and, according to Aviation Policy News, there is a method for aircraft to avoid turbulence significantly more frequently.
This may not come as a surprise, but the last time the NTSB investigated the matter was 50 years ago. They also discovered that existing weather reports from pilots are insufficient.
- These are flight reports that are communicated with air traffic control.
- However, there is no universally accepted metric for determining the severity of turbulence.
- And, if complaints are filed, it’s generally after the plane has flown far past it – which is understandable, but it means the information isn’t accessible to assist others in real time.
- In any event, air traffic controllers seldom react with these concerns straight away.
There was a lot of turbulence and injuries, but the @delta crew handled everything flawlessly, even the emergency landing. pic.twitter.com/NoJWLp5GUv
— On February 13, 2019, I changed my handle to @JoeJustice (@JoeJustice0).
This implies that flights aren’t being informed about stormy circumstances that other planes have previously encountered. As a result, the NTSB believes the procedure should be automated. This entails employing technology to measure real circumstances and communicating in standard measures.
One that employs onboard software to gather real-time data on airspeed and angle of attack and then calculates an eddy dissipation rate, or EDR, is recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) (comparable to the height of a wave in the ocean). There are many commercial systems that can accomplish this, but they seem to be proprietary.
IATA, the international airline association, advocates switching to an open-source EDR created by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the United States, with Delta, Southwest, and United on board. Turbulence Aware is a turbulence reporting system that allows airlines to construct a turbulence reporting system that will automatically send any EDR greater than a pre-determined amount to the ground (airline dispatchers). However, such communications might be delivered automatically to air traffic control, allowing controllers to provide warnings to approaching planes. The software for this is already available on Boeing’s new aircraft, and it can also be retrofitted. Turbulence Aware is now in use by 15 operators with a total of 1,500 planes.
The NTSB wants the FAA to encourage airlines to use Turbulence Aware to prevent in-flight injuries by easing the strain on pilots and controllers and delivering better information to planes.