A fatality free aviation industry would be every aviators dream. However, a fatality free industry would mean a perfect world and a perfect world just does not exist. The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Destination 2025 vision predicts flights to take off and land on time, every time, without delay and also predicts that there will be no fatal accidents. The aviation industry is a very dynamic one as the needs of humans and society are constantly changing. Nothing in life is certain and unforeseen situations do arise. There are certain factors that humans cannot control such as meteorological conditions and unforeseen mechanical issues and because of this airline delays can still occur.
I believe that Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is a great concept and if implemented properly can save airlines and ultimately the aviation industry time and money. The NextGen initiative will also be more environmentally friendly as it will reduce fuel consumption and as a result will reduce the carbon emissions into the atmosphere. If NextGen goes on to be implemented throughout the rest of the world this would definitely reduce the carbon footprint from airlines around the world. Though I believe that delays may not be directly mitigated through the NextGen initiative, it most certainly can be reduced as aircraft will be navigating less through the airspace as they will be taking a more direct route to their destination. On the other hand, if there was supposed to be a glitch in this technology, airlines and the general aviation across the United States may have a bigger problem to face.
If a problem in the system arises and if ATC and pilots become too reliant on NextGen to the point where they fail to remember basic knowledge, a catastrophe could happen in the aviation industry that would be hard to fix. Another challenge that could be faced is the incorporation of human factors into NextGen. Human Factor is the relationship between man and machine. Creating NextGen is ultimately creating a new software system which means that humans will have to be trained to operate these new software. On the human factor side, people resist change and as a result they may not be as proficient in NextGen, and if they are less proficient in NextGen then the chance of human error increases likewise the possibility of an increase in fatal aviation accidents. On the business side, humans would need to be trained to understand this new system and as a result more money will be spent. Essentially pilots are going to need to learn this new system which will cost airlines money.
I like the fact that the FAA is taking a new approach on safety. I appreciate the fact that the FAA will manage risk by proactively identifying hazards and risk based on the continuous analysis of data. By doing this they may be able to reduce the amount of accidents due to human errors. Also safety would also increase if rules and regulation were implemented to address potential dangerous events rather than waiting until a fatality occur to implement those rules. It would be considerably cheaper to prevent an accident than to have one. With safety being increased there is an opportunity for airlines to save money.
The Destination 2025 has really good concepts and ideas as it relates to improving the aviation industry. However, I truly believe the outline needs to be scrutinized for potential flaws to make it more realistic, that’s just my 2 cents worth of input!