Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) / Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA)

Flight Data Monitoring (FDM), also known as Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA), is a method of capturing, analysing and/or visualizing the data generated by an aircraft or helicopter moving from one point to another. Applying the information learned from this analysis helps to find new ways to improve flight safety and increase overall operational efficiency. FDM is an integral part of a company’s Safety Management System (SMS).

The goal is to improve the organization’s overall safety, increase maintenance effectiveness and reduce operational costs. There are a range of FDM solutions available covering from airlines to the small operator with a single aircraft.

Safety Benefits

FDM has the following significant safety benefits:

• An FDM system allows an operator to compare it SOPs with those actually achieved in flight. A feedback loop will allow timely corrective action to be taken where safety may be compromised by significant deviations from SOPs.
• Risks can be identified and quantified and the information used to improve SMS risk management. The effectiveness of risk mitigation actions can then be monitored to ensure that the changes have the desired effect.

Potential Cost Savings

FDM can also save a company money through:

• The overall reduction in risk involved with a company’s operation could lead to lower insurance premiums.
• Unnecessary maintenance can be prevented where the FDM data can be used to confirm that an aircraft limit have in fact been exceeded.
• Flight optimisation to improve fuel efficiency.

IAS can provide specialist FDM advice and assist in the following areas:

• Implementation and operation of an FDM solution tailored to your specific needs that will make it cost effective to implement.
• Development of all the required company documentation
• Training of company FDM team members
• Audits of FDM systems
• Implementation of event handling/reviewing (Smartsheet).

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