How did aviation become so safe, and beyond?

John Stoop

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific

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Aviation has been recognized as one of the ultimate safe socio-technical systems. This contribution discusses the conditions and context that moulded the system safety to its present level by applying integral safety, a sectoral approach and safety as a strategic value. At present the aviation system consists of institutional arrangements at the global level, a shared repository of knowledge and operational experiences, feedback from reality, the notion of Good Airmanship, together with the choice of technology as the flywheel for progress. This architecture made aviation a Non-Plus Ultra-Safe system characterized by a safety performance level of beyond 10-7 accident rate. To cross this mythical boundary in legacy systems like aviation, it is imperative to apply game changers such as socio-technical systems engineering, disruptive technologies and innovation transition management. In such a transition, a shift in focus occurs from performance to properties, from hindsight to foresight, highlighted by the case study of the stall recovery device, the Kestrel concept.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 53rd ESReDA Seminar, 14 – 15 November 2017
Subtitle of host publicationEuropean Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event53rd ESReDA Seminar: Enhancing Safety: the Challenge of Foresight - European Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy
Duration: 14 Nov 201715 Nov 2017
Conference number: 53


Conference53rd ESReDA Seminar
Internet address


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