300 E Mallard Dr., Suite 200
Boise, ID 83706
Being proactive has served the Department of the Interior (DOI) well. In 1975, the DOI recorded its first annual aircraft accident rate, of 18.87 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. This rate became the benchmark from which all subsequent accident rates would be measured. In FY21, the annual aircraft accident rate was 1.67 per 100K flight hours. Although this rate is above the annual average, a historical analysis demonstrates a decrease in accident rates over the last decade, a milestone in the improvement of DOI aviation safety. By working cooperatively to reaffirm our commitment to safety, the goal of zero aircraft accidents is attainable.
Interior aviation safety and aircraft mishap prevention is based on the philosophy that all aircraft mishaps can be prevented, and that mishap prevention is an inherent function of management. This safety philosophy is the core business of the Office of Aviation Services (OAS). Based on the unique requirements generated by the various conditions and environments in which DOI aircraft operate, the Department has become the leading innovator of special standards and techniques involved in natural resource flying. To prevent human injury and protect property from damage when performing natural resource missions, the DOI has established a proactive approach to accident prevention. Its fundamental components are:
To become more efficient and effective, the OAS Aviation Safety, Program Evaluations, and Quality Division developed an Aviation Safety Communique (SAFECOM) website in 1996. The system enables users to report any condition, observation, act, maintenance problem, or circumstance with personnel or the aircraft that has the potential to cause an aviation-related mishap. Reporting is a critical component of our safety programs. Early identification, correction and reporting of hazards can save time, money, and most importantly, lives. There is a direct relationship between the reporting of all incidents, occurrences, and hazards which might impact our aviation operations and our mishap rate. In order to provide the most effective reporting tool, modifications and improvements to the website are a standard business practice. Further, the website provides additional links are provided for training/education, library/publications and related links to other Federal organizations involved in aviation activities. SAFECOM fulfills the Aviation Mishap Information System (AMIS) requirements for aviation mishap reporting for the Department of Interior agencies and the US Forest Service.
The DOI has also implemented an Aviation Safety Awards Program, which recognizes individuals, groups, and organizations for exceptional acts or service in support of aviation safety and aircraft accident prevention. The program consists of the following awards: In-Flight Action, Safe Flying, Airward, Significant Contributions to Aviation Safety, and the Departmental Award for Outstanding Contribution to Aviation Safety.
It is an OAS philosophy that no mission is so important that people should be exposed to unnecessary risk and that, "safety should be first, each and every time, in everything we do."