CASES

(Collaborative Aviation Safety Exchange System)
Canada has been a world leader in flight data analysis since the mid-'80s. Long-time advocates that when it comes to safety, collaboration among airlines is imperative. While not a new concept, collaboration remains illusive due to many factors. The devil is in the details as they say and when you get into the details, existing collaborative initiatives continue to struggle. Plane Sciences (now APS) has been a National Research Council of Canada's Industry Research & Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) client since July 2018. In July of 2020, NRC IRAP, in response to interest from airline associations in Canada, decided to provide R&D subsidies to develop a national flight data warehouse for Canadian operators. To support a national flight data warehouse, we decided to add configurable and expandable functionality to the lumina|FDA system that was developed over many years to support individual airline FOQA/FDM/FDA programs. This added functionality to enable aircraft owners to assign their aircraft to groups for collaboration purposes is called CASES. CASES is being designed to allow airlines to assign tails as well as specific parameters for the assigned tails to one or more CASES 'Groups'. This architecture ultimately allows airlines to share limited data for specific initiatives of mutual benefit. The launch CASES Group is the C-CAST (Canadian Commercial Aviation Safety Team), which was formed as a direct result of the NRC IRAP R&D project.

CASES is not limited to the C-CAST. Rather we believe the next evolution of data sharing will be a desire to share limited and specific data across several groups as airlines increasingly embrace the need to collaborate in the interests of safety. CASES will pave the way for what we believe to be the next evolution in data sharing whereby an integrated system architecture makes it easy to collaborate while fully respecting the security and eliminating duplication of effort. The approach taken to date has been to simply reprocess the combined flight data treating it as a separate 'airline' database. Our approach to re-architect our core FDA system with collaboration in mind from the outset will allow data validation to propagate where applicable, to other CASES groups reducing duplication of effort significantly. Examples of CASES Groups could be a group of airlines that operate as subsidiaries under a lead airline, something we are increasingly asked to support. In these cases, it is not uncommon for tails to frequently change airlines creating problems for the FDA system. CASES can easily support national programs outside of Canada for other countries as well as international groups. Additional examples could be non-aircraft owner stakeholders such as a research institute or aircraft manufacturers whereby granting limited access for a specific time period and purpose benefits all aircraft owners that agree to assign their tails and subset of parameter access to the CASES group.
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