Data are essential in risk-based decision making. As airports develop their risk management processes, the collection and sharing of information will allow airports to benchmark against the industry, and to monitor and understand trends. There remain real concerns about collecting data due to state sunshine laws and then having the data used out of context. Nonetheless, analysis of data is a necessary component in identifying and mitigating risks and hazards. Operational, facility, and other characteristics are additional data points helpful in analysis, while aggregation and sharing can be beneficial to an airport’s stakeholders and the industry. Having this data allows airports to benchmark against similar airports in the context of a specific incident, near-miss, accident, or other event that has occurred, and to understand trends. An airport may find it helpful to compare itself to similarly situated airports. For example, an airport experiencing runway incursions during snow removal operations may want to compare itself to an airport with a similar airfield configuration and weather conditions. Additionally, sharing of operational data allows for all stakeholders to have common situational awareness, such as in a collaborative decision-making environment. For any data to be useful, however, the appropriate data has to be collected and the data fields must be standardized to allow comparisons and benchmarking.
The objectives of this were to develop a guidebook that (a) identifies safety and operational data that airports can share with stakeholders to develop or enhance their systemic approach to risk-based decision making and (b) develops a methodology for collecting and sharing that data.