USDOT Convenes Aviation and Automobile Industry Forum on Safety
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USDOT Convenes Aviation and Automobile Industry Forum on Safety

The forum builds on a historic proactive safety principles agreement between the Department of Transportation and 18 automakers

April 22, 2016

Leaders from the aviation and automotive industries joined with top U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) officials today to discuss how safety lessons from aviation can be applied to the auto industry.

The Enhancing Safety Culture in Transportation forum was co-hosted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and was attended by top officials from U.S. airlines and aerospace and automobile manufacturers.

"We have had enormous success in building a model for industry-wide collaboration to support safety in the aviation industry," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "This has dramatically decreased aviation accidents in our skies. We want to build on that success by looking for opportunities to use lessons learned from aviation in the rest of our transportation system in a proactive manner."

USDOT says that the forum builds on Transportation Secretary Foxx's January 15 announcement of a historic proactive safety principles agreement between the Department of Transportation and 18 automakers. Those principles seek to help the industry build a culture of proactive safety, improve data analysis, maximize safety recall participation rates and enhance cybersecurity, while working in a collaborative manner. The forum was attended by representatives from all 18 companies, as well as suppliers and other industry organizations.

"The commercial aviation industry's unprecedented period of safety is the result of hard work," said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. "The aviation industry and the FAA have partnered to create new strategies and build a safety culture from top to bottom. We believe that the best practices will apply to the auto industry too. We have started by establishing the proactive safety principles, which have already yielded concrete results. We will continue looking for new safety solutions anywhere we can find them."

The FAA and aviation industry have implemented a number of key safety programs, which reduced the fatality risk in U.S. commercial air travel by 83 percent between 1998 and 2008. The industry and government are now working to further reduce the U.S. commercial air travel fatality risk by 50 percent from 2010 to 2025.

"The proactive, data-driven strategies that have brought us into an unprecedented era in aviation safety may also benefit the auto industry," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "The FAA and the aviation industry are deeply committed to building on our successful risk-based safety culture that is the foundation of everything we do."

USDOT officials say that the proactive safety approach is already yielding results in the auto industry. Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation joined the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to announce that 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market would voluntarily make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on all new cars by 2022.