Flight Operations Quality Assurance

What Is It?

FOQA uses digital flight data from normal line operations to provide insight into the safety of flight operations. FOQA can provide objective information that is not available through other methods. FOQA can improve safety by enhancing training, operational and maintenance procedures.

  • The vast majority of US Carriers participate in FOQA (FAA FOQA Participants).
  • Outside USA: FOQA is mandatory outside the USA, and US operators require FOQA to land in some countries.
  • It is intended for use in a non-punitive, safety & training enhancement environment.

Why Do I Need a FOQA Program?

A FOQA Program allows you to compare how your aircraft are flown against your Standard Operating Procedures. This safety critical insight highlights any occurrence where safety may have been compromized and gives you an opportunity to implement corrective actions. As such it forms a key element of your Safety Management System (SMS).

Benefits of identifying, quantifying, assessing and addressing risk:

  • Ensure compliance with FAA voluntary safety program guidelines
  • Ensure compliance with international civil aviation regulations
  • Identify significant unsafe events and take appropriate action
  • Perform trend analysis to highlight safety issues
  • Focus training in specific areas
  • Minimize AOG time
  • Enhance maintenance trending and diagnosis
  • Reveal operational inefficiencies
  • Enhance your SMS

What Does It Look Like?

Aircraft operators who participate in a FOQA program regularly download flight data from their aircraft during normal operations. The raw flight data is then processed through a series of algorithms that detect potential safety events. These events must then be validated by a flight data analyst to ensure their validity. Valid events are kept in a database for monitoring of safety trends and you can investigate more serious events when you feel it is warranted. Additionally, you can show safety data in a deidentified manner to allow you to benchmark against operators with similar fleets.

How Do I Do This?

FOQA data analysis requires highly specialized software. This can be purchased from a software house, or accessed as a web based service. The issues that you should consider include:

Item Software Full Service Provider
Flight data processing
Operating staff
Computer operation, maintenance and support
Data transfer
Detect safety events
Validation checks
Expert support
Trend statistics

= Training needed.

Why use Flight Data Services?

  • Benchmarking, even with customizable thresholds.
  • Unlimited user logins with FAA compliant permissions.
  • Customizable statistical reports that can be built in minutes.
  • A dedicated analyst that acts as an extension to your safety team.
  • Customer-driven, agile development.
  • Software updates are released every few weeks.
  • Dedicated data transfer units provide effortless encrypted transfer of data.
  • 24 hour customer support.
  • Historical data is always available.
  • Access to all recorded parameters.
  • Expert analysis removes false events.
  • Integration with your SMS and flight operations software.
  • Unlimited safety and maintenance events.
  • All customer support and software updates provided at no additional cost.
  • Data sharing through IATA's Flight Data eXchange program.
  • Reduced manpower costs compared to running a program in-house.
  • Top level service plus state-of-the-art software equals best value.

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Flight Data Services