Defining FAA Aviation Quality Assurance Systems
Aviation quality assurance is a system for monitoring aviation equipment, programs, and procedures to ensure that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) quality standards are being met.
The Aviation System Standards (AVN) was designed to maximize the effectiveness and safety of aviation operations, and is enforced by the FAA Safety and Quality Assurance Office.
The primary safety programs of the Aviation System Standards include:
- Flight Safety
- Occupational Safety and Health
- Safety Management Systems
- Internal Evaluation Programs
Management oversight of quality assurance systems is provided by the Internal Evaluation Program, which also serves to maintain the organization and effectiveness of the Aviation System Standards.
Specific Quality Assurance Systems
The Flight Safety program is a leading example of a quality assurance system in action. Safety programs are developed and tested to assess potential risk factors in flight operations.
Two key programs that monitor and resolve flight safety issues are:
- the FOQA (Flight Operational Quality Assurance)
- the ASAP (Aviation Safety Action Program)
Both programs collect and analyze recorded flight data. The information is taken from routine flights or is collected in response to an accident; either way, it is used to assess the safety of flight operations, air traffic control methods, and airport and aircraft design and maintenance.
ASAP is used to report safety issues that may be responsible for accidents. It is a voluntary program designed for AVN’s flight program members. This program is essentially another outlet for members to monitor safety risks and respond with new quality standards and regulations.
The Environmental Program is another quality assurance system that works on pollution prevention, integration of systems, communication of policy, compliance with legal requirements, and continuous improvement of the Environmental management system (EMS).
The Safety Management System (SMS) enforces the safety standards for Air Traffic Control and the National Airspace System (NAS).
Aviation quality assurance systems are important for mechanics and technicians who perform maintenance, preventative maintenance, and alterations of aircraft and aircraft articles.
Repair stations and aircraft maintenance technicians are subject to quality standards regarding their inspections, maintenance, and repair work. They can also use the information obtained through FOQA and ASAP programs to improve maintenance procedures.
The quality assurance standards ensure that aircraft are kept in optimal working condition, and are safe for private and commercial use.
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