Aviation Safety: Enhanced Oversight and Improved Availability of Risk-Based Data Could Further Improve Safety, Report to Congressional Committees [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Highlights: "Takeoffs, landings, and movement around the surface areas of airports (the terminal area) are critical to the safe and efficient movement of air traffic. The nation's aviation system is arguably the safest in the world, but close calls involving aircraft or other vehicles at or near airports are common, occurring almost daily. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provides oversight of the terminal area and has taken action to improve safety, but has been called upon by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and others to take additional steps to improve its oversight. As requested, this report addresses (1) recent actions FAA has taken to improve safety in the terminal area, (2) recent trends in terminal area safety and factors contributing to those trends, and (3) any additional actions FAA could take to improve safety in the terminal area. To address these issues, GAO [Government Accountability Office] analyzed data from FAA data; reviewed reports and FAA documents; and interviewed federal and industry officials. GAO recommends that FAA (1) extend oversight of terminal area safety to include runway overruns and ramp areas, (2) develop risk-based measures for runway safety incidents, and (3) improve information sharing about incidents. The Department of Transportation agreed to consider the recommendations and provided clarifying information about efforts made to improve runway safety, which GAO incorporated."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/