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June 2017 Vol. 5 No.1

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Merit Research Journal of Business and Management Vol. 5(1) pp. 008-029, June, 2017

Copyright © 2017 Merit Research Journals

Original Research Article

Statistical Analysis of Aviation Accidents Data: A Case Study of United States Aviation Department


Muhammad Ayat


Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Dawood University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Sindh 74800, Pakistan

E-mail: ayat@sabanciuniv.edu
Tel.: +92 346 2933446

Accepted June 16, 2017




The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provides air traffic services for the world largest and busiest airspace. Despite of its extreme focus on safety, aircrafts face numerous accidents every year. The purpose of this study is to explain the trends in aviation data of the United States (US) and explore the meanings associated with each trend. We collected data of aviation accidents and aviation operations for a period of 21 years, Jan 1992 to Dec 2012, mainly from three different sources, i.e. NASA maintained database “Aviation safety reporting system” (ASRS), the National transportation safety board (NTSB)¬¬ maintained database “Aviation accident and incident data system” (AIDS) and the Federal Aviation administration database (FAA, 2016). Accidents were grouped into their respective segments of aviation operations which include General Aviation (GA), 14 CFR (Codes of Federal Regulation) Part 135 and 14 CFR Part 121. The stratification help to identify and analyze the trends in each segment of aviation operation separately. Descriptive statistical and correlation tools were used in the study to identify and explain trends in the data. It was found that accidents in General Aviation (GA), the smallest segment of aviation operations, dominate over other segments (14 CFRPart 121 and 135). The analysis showed that aviation accidents overall decreased over time. The decreasing trend in accidents is because of few factors such as strengthen safety measures, advancement in technology, improved training of pilots, etc. It was also found that aviation activities (flight hours) were following different trends in each segment. Flight hours of Part 121 were increasing, remained flat for Part 135 and consistently decreasing for GA. The difference in trends for each segment is because of different weight-age of the factors affecting aviation operations for each segment. The factors include Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, changes in regulations, price hike of fuel, economic recessions, and world major events like 9/11, etc. which affects aviation activities. The aviation data also show a significant seasonal effect. In summer from the months of May to August, 44% of all aviation accidents occurred, 29% in the months of September to December and only 27% of all aviation accidents in the months of January to April occurred. The study may be helpful in preventing aviation accidents, after identification of trends and explaining the associated meanings to them.

Keywords: Aviation Accident, General Aviation, Codes of Federal Regulation (CFR), The Federal aviation administration (FAA)





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