Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
About Us
Completed Projects
Board Members & Meetings
Related Links
Contact Us
SSB Home

Aviation Safety Assurance

 View the report


Statement of Task 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will convene an ad hoc committee to create a national research agenda for the development of the suite of tools needed to support a prototype integrated safety monitoring and assurance system that detects, predicts, and prevents safety problems in the national airspace system in real time, particularly with regard to the safety of commercial transports. The recommended research agenda will consist of a set of research projects, grouped by priority, to achieve this goal. In particular the committee will:

1. Review the following:

a. Current processes for providing real-time system-wide safety assurance for the national airspace system.

b. Current goals and plans by government, industry, and academia regarding the advancement of tools, technologies, and processes that specifically address real-time system-wide safety assurance for the national airspace system, including ongoing    research by NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate and that portion of the NASA Technology Roadmap for Aeronautics that specially addresses system-wide safety assurance.

c. Expectations regarding advances of broadly applicable technology that could be used to advance real-time system-wide safety assurance capabilities. Areas of interest include sensing, computing, communications, and analytics as well as safety assurance technologies and capabilities for non-aviation applications.

d. NASA's vision for advances in system-wide safety assurance over the near-term, mid-term, and far-term.

2. Outline a national research agenda that will demonstrate the feasibility of real-time system-wide safety assurance of the national airspace system, as follows:

a. Comment on NASA's vision for development of real-time system-wide safety assurance capabilities.

b. Identify technical, economic, regulatory, and policy barriers to developing and demonstrating advanced technologies and capabilities to achieve the vision.

c. Recommend a research agenda consisting of a set of recommended research projects, grouped by priority, to overcome the barriers and achieve the vision for real-time system-wide safety assurance. The agenda should be developed with due consideration of the resources and organizational partnerships required to complete the projects included in the agenda. The research agenda should, as appropriate, describe the potential contributions and roles of U.S. research organizations, including NASA, other federal agencies, industry, and academia.


Committee Meeting

January 23-25, 2017
Washington, DC

March 15-17, 2017
Washington D.C.


Committee Membership

Kenneth J. Hylander, Chair, Flight Safety Foundation
Brian M. Argrow, University of Colorado Boulder
Meyer J. Benzakein, The Ohio State University
Gautam Biswas, Vanderbilt University
John W. Borghese, Rockwell Collins
Steven J. Brown, National Business Aviation Association
Anthony F. Fazio, Fazio Group International
Michael Garcia, Aireon, LLC
R. John Hansman, Jr., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Gerardo D.M. Hueto, International Air Transport Association
Lauren J. Kessler, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory
Michael J. McCormick, Federal Aviation Administration
Bonnie Schwartz, Air Force Research Laboratory
Craig Wanke, The MITRE Corporation


Alan Angleman, Study Director
Anesia Wilks, Senior Program Assistant