Being pro-active has served Interior well. Interior's first annual aircraft accident rate, as well as its first historical accident rate was 18.87 accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 1975. In FY14, the annual aircraft accident rate was 1.92 per 100K flight hours, a slight increase 0.31 from last year yet completing the best 9 consecutive years in DOI history. Zero aircraft accidents is an attainable goal, but we must reaffirm our vigilance since we have already suffered 2 accidents in FY15.
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 OAS. Based on the unique requirements generated by the various conditions and environments in which the Department of the Interior 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, Interior has established a pro-active approach to accident prevention. Its fundamental components are:
In an effort to become more efficient and effective, the OAS Aviation Safety and Program Evaluations Division began development of a Safety web page in 1996. Modifications and improvements to the Safety web page will continue in order to provide an effective reporting tool for submitting Safecoms as well as conducting a limited search of the Safecom database. Additional links are provided for training/education, library/publications and related links to other Federal organizations involved in aviation activities. In partnership with the U. S. Forest Service, uniform mishap reporting procedures and operational safety standards have been established, resulting in a simplified reporting process for both departments.
Interior 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 awards for In-Flight Actions, Safe Flying, Significant contributions to Aviation Safety and the Secretary's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Aviation Safety, and AirWards.
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."