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H2020

Future Sky Safety Report Summary

Project ID: 640597
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Future Sky Safety (Future Sky Safety)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Future Sky Safety (FSS) is the largest European safety research and innovation action currently ongoing. The Programme develops new tools and new approaches to further improve aeronautic safety. Future Sky Safety contributes to the achievement less than 1 accident per 10 million commercial aircraft flight departures, and an 80% reduction of the accident rate compared to 2000 for specific operations.

The focus is on four main Themes. Theme 1 (New solutions for today’s accidents) aims for breakthrough research, with the purpose of enabling a direct, specific, risk reduction in the medium term. Theme 2 (Strengthening the capability to manage risk) conducts research on processes and technologies to enable the aviation system actors to achieve near-total control over the safety risk in the air transport system. Theme 3 (Building ultra-resilient systems and operators) conducts research on the improvement of Systems and the Human Operator with the specific aim to improve safety performance under unanticipated circumstances. Theme 4 (Building ultra-resilient vehicles), aims at reducing the effect of external hazards on the aerial vehicle integrity, as well as improving the safety of the cabin environment.

FSS helps to coordinate the research and innovation agendas of the main national aeronautical research establishments in Europe, and to create synergies with other EU initiatives in the field (e.g. SESAR, Clean Sky). FSS provides safety research in direct support of new safety rules, regulations, measures and standards, and in the longer term to fulfil the ACARE Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) and Flightpath 2050 safety challenges.

The specific objectives for the programme are:
1. To coordinate institutional safety research programmes (WP1), and connect and drive institutionally funded safety research by EREA to safety priorities in the ACARE SRIA on Safety and Security.
2. To perform dissemination, exploitation & communication (WP2), and maximize the impact of results.
3. To perform collaborative safety research on safety risk priority areas. The associated objectives are:
a) Solutions for runway excursions (WP3). Perform breakthrough safety research, in accordance with European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions (EAPPRE) priorities, to enable a significant reduction of runway excursion risk.
b) Total system risk assessment (WP4). Develop a prototype risk observatory to assess and monitor safety risks throughout the total aviation system and allow frequent update of risk assessments.
c) Resolving the organizational accident (WP5). Reduce the likelihood of organizational accidents in aviation via development and implementation of a Safe Performance System.
d) Human Performance Envelope (WP6). Define and apply the Human Performance Envelope for cockpit operations and design, and determine methods to recover crew’s performance to the center of the envelope, and consequently to augment this envelope, through Human Machine Interface principles, procedures or training.
e) Mitigating risk of fire, smoke and fumes (WP7). Develop solutions to mitigate fire, smoke and fumes related (fatal) accidents.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

To coordinate institutional safety research programmes (WP1), and connect and drive institutionally funded safety research by EREA to safety priorities in the ACARE SRIA on Safety and Security. WP1 has made huge steps by analyzing the different institutional funding mechanisms of the participating countries (D1.1), increasing awareness of the content, results and ambitions of the institutional RE programmes (D1.2), and starting the coordination of institutionally funded research of the participating Research Establishments in the field of safety. The latter led to D1.3 (Implementation Plan for the EREA Safety Research Plan and D1.4 (Methodology to evaluate the leverage effect of the in-house safety research) was produced. The first EREA Aviation Safety Research Plan (ASRP) (D2.5) was also produced in 2016. Furthermore, a draft version of a cooperation agreement template is available and three co-operations (Modelling of operator’s behavior (DLR & ONERA); Aircraft Wake Turbulence (ONERA, NLR & DLR); Human Performance Envelope in the ATC Context (DLR & CSEM)) had their Kick-off.

To perform dissemination, exploitation & communication (WP2), and maximize impact of results. P2 has e.g. developed a public website (D2.1), dissemination, communication and exploitation strategy and plan (D2.2), knowledge and data management and protection plan (D2.3) and initial exploitation measures for the products and expected results (D2.4) and an educational plan (D2.6). P2 has also started focused dissemination of early FSS safety research findings to the EC and EU related services (EASA, CleanSky, SESAR JU) through organization of a large workshop (100 participants) in Brussels. Promotional material (flyers, brochures, posters) and articles are created to support this.

Solutions for runway excursions (WP3). Perform breakthrough safety research, in accordance with European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions (EAPPRE) priorities, to enable a significant reduction of runway excursion risk. WP3 has e.g. identified the shortcomings in current modelling of aircraft ground handling in relation to modern aircraft. A 6-DOF aircraft simulation model was used to analysis those model elements that have the largest contribution to ground simulation results (e.g. controllability on the ground). A review of the state of current knowledge regarding tyre braking performance, anti-skid systems, and modern aircraft tyres was conducted. A database was setup with data on braking friction coefficient of aircraft tyres on flooded surfaces. Preparations were made for flight tests on braking performance at Twente airport, in the Netherlands. An analysis of historical runway veer-off accidents/incidents was conducted. An overview of past and current developments and new initiatives intended to avoid or mitigate the risks associated with runway excursions was made.

Total system risk assessment (WP4). Develop prototype risk observatory to assess and monitor safety risks throughout the total aviation system and allow frequent update of risk assessments. Business, user and system requirements have been derived by consulting stakeholder organizations of the risk observatory, lessons learnt from relevant previous research and consortium expertise. The requirements are used to develop an early prototype of the risk observatory. This prototype is a mock-up of dashboards and a user interface. The prototype is used to validate and further specify the requirements. A gap analysis is performed to determine which requirements can be covered by current risk modelling methodologies.

Resolving the organizational accident (WP5). Reduce the likelihood of organizational accidents in aviation via development and implementation of a Safe Performance System. In WP5.1, 16 senior executives were interviewed concerning safety, leading to a White Paper on how aviation senior executives lead safety. This result in safety intelligence guidance for senior executives and managers, helping to ensure that safety is led correctly from the top of organisations. WP5.2 developed the safety mindfulness concept into a practical approach. This is applied and further developed to the air traffic context in Maastricht, and also in the airline KLM. This may result in a tool or an ‘app’ to support the quick sharing of safety-related information at the operational level. WP5.3 completed safety culture surveys for European Cockpit Association (>7000 pilots), Airbus Design, EasyJet, Boeing Europe, Luton Airport. WP5.4 delivered the theoretical foundations of the agility concept. It has also applied the concept in two high profile areas – the European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell (EACCC) in Brussels, and the Airbus Crisis Centre in Toulouse – and worked with people in both these functions to see how agility concepts can help their emergency response protocols or training.

Human Performance Envelope (WP6). Define and apply the Human Performance Envelope for cockpit operations and design, and determine methods to recover crew’s performance to the center of the envelope, and consequently to augment this envelope, through Human Machine Interface principles, procedures or training. The work resulted e.g. in a concept for Human Performance Envelope (D6.1) and test plan for preliminary systems/pilots cognitive task analysis (D6.2). The latter defines the validation plan and selection of operational scenarios and decision on one specific cockpit and one specific concept of HMI and automation. Work also included preparation of sensors, metrics and tools plus flight simulator environment for measurement and evaluation of the human performance envelope for the first real time simulation, which was performed at DLR’s simulator AVES in Braunschweig (with ten Lufthansa crews). Furthermore, 3 workshops have been organized: concept workshop, measurement workshop, and scenario workshop.

Mitigating risk of fire, smoke and fumes (WP7). Develop solutions to mitigate fire, smoke and fumes related (fatal) accidents. P7 produced plans of experiments with primary structures materials (D7.1) and new materials for fire protection in the cabin environment (D7.2). Also, a literature study on new concepts of sensors to measure on-board air quality was performed (D7.3). The first batch of tests with primary structures materials were performed and test results documented, in D7.4.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Future Sky Safety contributes directly to the long term aviation vision, issued by the EC as Flight Path 2050, which includes safety as one of the most important European priorities. The first three Flight Path 2050 safety goals for Challenge 4 “Safety and Security” provide important focus areas for Horizon 2020:
• The European ATS has less than one accident per ten million commercial aircraft flights.
• Weather and other hazards from the environment are precisely evaluated and risks are properly mitigated.
• The European ATS operates seamlessly through interoperable and networked systems allowing manned and unmanned air vehicles to safely operate in the same airspace.

Future Sky Safety is specifically designed to contribute to the following expected impacts:
• To reach by 2050 less than one accident per 10 million commercial aircraft flights, and an 80% reduction of the accident rate compared to 2000 for specific operations, where weather hazards are evaluated and mitigated, in a system which includes all types of air vehicles, manned and unmanned, while preserving cost and time efficiency.
• To gather pan-European critical mass, overcoming gaps, duplication and fragmentation, create a leverage effect, enhance coherence and efficiency of aviation safety research in Europe and underpin development of future safety regulation, operations and technology.

The aim to contribute to reaching, by 2050, less than one accident per 10 million commercial aircraft flight departures and an 80% reduction of the accident rate compared to 2000 for specific operations, is specifically addressed in five Technical Work Packages:

WP3 Solutions for runway excursions
Safety statistics show that runway excursions, the event in which an aircraft veers off or overruns the runway surface during either take-off or landing, are the most common type of accident reported annually, in the European region and worldwide. There is at least one runway excursion every two weeks in Europe. Runway excursions can result in loss of life and/or damage to aircraft, buildings or other items struck by the aircraft. Excursions are estimated to cost the global industry about 800 MEuro every year. There have also been a number of fatal runway excursion accidents. EAPPRE provides practical recommendations with guidance materials to reduce the number of runway excursions in Europe. The Action Plan also identified areas where research is needed to further reduce the risk of runway excursion. These areas are studied. The results of the research will further improve the knowledge on runway excursion prevention and risk mitigation. It is therefore expected that this will contribute to a further reduction in the number of runway excursion accidents, incidents and occurrences. This will obviously improve safety. Because runway excursions usually result in disturbances in the operational process, the improved understanding of will also result in increased punctuality and reduced costs.

WP4 Total system risk assessment
A permanent risk observatory will offer the clues as to where the opportunities arise for risk prevention and mitigation. Therefore the observatory will be an enabling tool to be able to reduce the accident rate. The ACARE Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda defines the implementation of a Safety Management System to operate throughout the whole chain of Air Transport activities as an important enabler towards reaching the Flight Plan 2050 safety goals. In support of this, conception of a system-wide air transport safety model that is used widely by the stakeholders in aviation is targeted. Other enablers are tools, methodologies and processes aiming to automate the capture and the analysis of aviation accidents, incidents and occurrences and further improve the efficient identification of safety trends, with the aim to mitigate the risks to aviation safety. The permanent risk observatory will be a tool that offers analysis of safety performance, identification of safety trends and key risk areas that can be most efficiently mitigated.

WP5 Resolving the organizational accident
In order to achieve the identified target of one accident in ten million flights, even as air traffic capacity expands, the organisational contributions to accidents must be understood and controlled. This is not easy. Compared to other safety endeavours, such as tackling runway excursions or building a model of aviation system safety, or even optimising crew performance in emergencies, organisational failures are ‘messy’. They concern how people think and behave, according to their national and professional cultures, and how they make judgements under uncertainty, and trade-offs under commercial pressures. Yet if this area is not controlled, accidents will continue to slip through aviation’s safety nets. Control will not be achieved by more rules, nor by static safety analysis that ignores the human and cultural elements, as well as ignoring the fact that many businesses today operate in an agile way, continually-evolving. WP5 draws together the organisational keys to the problem: Human Factors, Safety Culture, Safety Intelligence, Agility and Resilience, to develop a Safe Performance System, a ‘second generation’ safety management system, one that is at the heart of operations, giving all levels in the organisation a better ‘safety radar’. It will work on safety from the inside out, instilling safety intelligence in senior and middle management, fostering safety mindfulness and safety culture at every level in the organisation, and an agile response capability at both intra and inter-organisational levels. WP5 will develop a blueprint to eradicate organisational accidents, so that safety will become an emergent organisational property, an instinctive behaviour of the industry. Agile safe performance will be achievable and manageable, and seen as core business. This Project directly supports (via being an enabler) all four main pillars of the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS), and for the ACARE SRIA it addresses a number of Enablers, including System-wide Safety Management Systems, Diagnostic Analysis (safety culture) and Resilience.

WP6 Human performance envelope
Pilots are trusted the world over, and most of us travel frequently by aircraft and place our lives in pilots’ experienced hands. But like us, pilots are human, and we all know people can become tired or confused momentarily, and that conditions can occasionally deteriorate rapidly during a flight. All too often the term ‘Pilot error’ is used as a convenient label to explain how a set of interacting conditions led to a performance decrement by the pilots. Often the pilots are no longer present to defend themselves. The Human Performance Envelope takes a different view, establishing the common factors in accidents and mapping how they work alone or in combination to lead to a performance decrement that could affect safety. The safe region on the Envelope is bordered by markers, which can be measured and signalled, allowing the pilots to detect and recover, or enabling external agencies to prompt recovery, or allowing automation to kick in and take over. The Human Performance Envelope will deal with the most crucial people in the accident chain, giving them back-up when they most need it, assuring performance when things get difficult. It will increase safety by focusing on the sharp end of accidents, and consign the term ‘Pilot error’ to the waste paper bin.

WP7 Mitigating the risk of fire, smokes and fumes
The overall aims are to contribute to increase safety with respect to fire related issues (in-flight or post-crash) and to prevent any staff or passengers safety problem due to inappropriate air quality. The expected impact is to progressively reduce the number of aircraft accident fatalities towards about half what it would be otherwise (considering increase of the commercial aircraft traffic, the development of more and more electric aircraft, and the irreversible massive introduction of composite materials), knowing that about 50% of these fatalities are today linked to situations where fire is involved.

The aim to gather pan-European critical mass, overcoming gaps, duplication and fragmentation, create a leverage effect, enhance coherence and efficiency of aviation safety research in Europe and underpin development of future safety regulation, operations and technology, is addressed in WP1 Coordination of institutionally funded safety research. Up to very recently, the safety research conducted by the European Aeronautical Research Establishments (REs) was largely uncoordinated among the establishments. This doesn’t mean that the RE’s are together not conducting a sizeable volume of research in this field. In fact, a survey of the safety research of the REs conducted as part of the effort for the current proposal revealed that the RE’s together conduct thousands of Person Months’ worth of safety research annually. Before the start of Future Sky Safety, few, if any, of the EREA scientists was aware of this. The ongoing work in RE’s was largely unknown in other RE’s. Many scientists in safety had not worked with colleagues at other RE’s before. Institutionally funded safety research projects conducted by multiple RE’s together were almost non-existent. And also, it would seem that the institutional programs are not connected in a structured way to the European safety research priorities. Clearly, there was a very large potential to do better. WP1 has addressed this, and made significant progress towards the following three objectives:
• To create a shared insight among the RE’s of the ongoing and planned safety research in the RE’s by developing and maintaining a detailed overview of the safety research conducted in each of the RE’s.
• To achieve coordination in the planning and conduct of new safety research projects by the development and annual renewal EREA Aviation Safety Research Plan (ASRPs). These agendas will become public, and will be offered for comment and discussion to the relevant stakeholders, thus facilitating better alignment with European Safety Priorities.
• To create cooperative research projects in which multiple RE’s work together on a single safety research challenge, among other by creating the common administrative provisions and incentives needed to make safety scientists work at other RE’s. Three such projects have had their kick-off in Period 1, with many more planned to be initiated. Ongoing are:
1) Modelling of operator’s behaviour (DLR & ONERA);
2) Aircraft Wake Turbulence (ONERA, NLR & DLR);
3) Human Performance Envelope in the ATC Context (DLR & CSEM))

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