"The number one priority of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is safety. Because of the agency's commitment to this priority, the United States boasts one of the safest airspace systems in the world. Some 99.997 percent of all air traffic operations occur without incident and in full compliance with Air Traffic Control (ATC) procedures. The foundation for this success is the Air Traffic Organization (ATO) Safety Management System (SMS), a holistic approach to safety--including safety policy, safety risk management processes, safety assurance programs, and a proactive safety culture--that enables the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] to identify and mitigate risks before they jeopardize the safety of our National Airspace System (NAS) and to focus its efforts on continuously improving safety performance. Drawing on information gathered by numerous data collection and analysis tools, reporting programs, audits, and assessments, this Air Traffic Organization Safety Report describes our air traffic safety performance for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012. It also highlights some of the significant changes that the FAA has made in its approach to risk identification, analysis and mitigation. Even as its air traffic safety indicators confirm that it is meeting and exceeding stringent performance targets, the FAA is investigating and employing new safety metrics that provide better insight into the actual safety performance of the NAS and the root causes and contributing factors of the most serious hazards. These metrics have been made possible by a significant increase in the amount of safety data that the agency collects, as well as continual enhancement of the ATO's Risk Analysis Process (RAP) for airborne incidents, including the development of a second RAP for surface incidents. Robust RAPs, leveraging the FAA's vastly expanded field of data resources, provide a more comprehensive analysis capability critical to proactively identifying and managing safety risks in the NAS."
Federal Aviation Administration: http://www.faa.gov/