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Safety improvements in aviation industry driven by lessons learned in accidents, mishaps, P.2

Previously, we began looking at an article discussing some of the important changes in the aviation industry and how they came about. As we noted, many of the beneficial changes in the use of materials, design, manufacturing, features, inspections and maintenance, came about because of lessons learned from aviation accidents.

The same is true for changes in the way pilots and crew members are trained to do their job. A couple examples of this are the industry’s return to manual training in an effort to correct over-dependence on automation, as well as the development of Cockpit Resource Management, which implemented teamwork and communication among crew members—as opposed to giving the captain complete authority—as an industry standard. Both of these changes have contributed to ongoing improvements. 

The creation of the agency now known as the Federal Aviation Administration, has also been instrumental in improvement flight safety. The FAA, as readers may know, is responsible for regulating every aspect of civil aviation. This includes not only the building and operation of airports, but also certification of pilots and aircraft, and air traffic control.

Although federal regulations are crucial in ensuring safety within the aviation industry, not all the work the FAA does is regulatory in nature. For example, the FAA’s Industry Training Standards program is not regulatory in nature, but it is still aimed at promoting safety in the industry. It does this by focusing on technical standards reached by consensus rather than taking regulatory or policy action. That being said, the FAA promotes industry standards that comply with FAA regulations and policies.  

Industry and regulatory standards are important not only because they help ensure safety in the aviation industry, but also because they provide plaintiffs a basis for pursuing damages. Those who are harmed by the breach of safety standards can and should work with an experienced aviation attorney to hold responsible parties legally accountable. 

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