The context here is Transport Risk Management. Is the philosophy of Air Traffic Safety different from other modes of transport? – yes, in many ways, it is. The focus is on Air Traffic Management (ATM), covering (eg) air traffic control and airspace structures, which is the part of the aviation system that is most likely to be developed through new paradigms. The primary goal of the ATM system is to control accident risk. ATM safety has improved over the decades for many reasons, from better equipment to additional safety defences. But ATM safety targets, improving on current performance, are now extremely demanding. What are the past and current methodologies for ATM risk assessment; and will they work effectively for the kinds of future systems that people are now imagining and planning? The title contrasts ‘Continued Evolution’ and a ‘New Paradigm’. How will system designers/operators assure safety with traffic growth and operational/technical changes that are more than continued evolution from the current system? What are the design implications for ‘new paradigms’, such as the USA’s ‘Next Generation Air Transportation System’ (NextGen) and Europe’s Single European Sky ATM Research Programme (SESAR)? Achieving and proving safety for NextGen and SESAR is an enormously tough challenge. For example, it will need to cover system resilience, human/automation issues, software/hardware performance/ground/air protection systems. There will be a need for confidence building programmes regarding system design/resilience, eg Human-in-the-Loop simulations with ‘seeded errors’
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