Getting the most of your FDM data

21/06/2023 | News
Getting the most of your FDM data Heading

Each Safety Management System/SMS/ needs a process to ensure it achieves the state of safety as defined by its safety performance targets and safety performance indicators. This is delivered by the safety assurance component of the SMS. Safety assurance consists of processes and activities undertaken by the Operator to determine whether the SMS is operating according to expectations and requirements. 

As the Flight Data Monitoring program is an integral part of Operator’s Management System, it is subject to the safety assurance process. Key Performance Indicators shall be defined to ensure the Flight Data Monitoring program is performing optimally and address the safety hazards. 

The European Operators Flight Data Monitoring forum Working Group C (EOFDM WG-C) have defined four KPIs, designed to monitor the performance of an operator’s FDM program.

Flight collection rate

The scope of this KPI is to give quantitative indication of the efficiency of data collection. 

Flight collection rate = Number of valid flights / Number of flown flights of aircraft in the FDM programme

Valid flights are those available in the FDM software after cleaning and validation of the flights. The number of valid flights may be affected in many different ways, e.g. a recorder failure, card failure/corruption, wireless transmission failure, FDAU electrical power interruption / loss, a sensor failure.

Flown flights are those are flights of aircraft included in the FDM programme. These all the flights done by the aircraft including commercial, training, ferry, positioning, etc. However, the flights that are not line operations shall be analysed separately and not included for the statistics of normal flights.

Time between actual occurrence and first detection by the FDM software

The scope of this KPI is to measure the time to retrieve and process the data in the FDM software.

Time between actual occurrence and detection of the event = Date of detection of the event by the software - Date of the actual occurrence of the event

It depends on technology (wireless transfer/hardware media), interval of data download, resources available (FDM software, staff). This KPI target is to minimize the time for detection of unreported events.

FDM coverage of safety issues identified in the SMS risk register

This KPI measures FDM coverage (events or measurements) of the safety issues identified in the operator’s SMS. For application of this KPI, risk register shall be available and for each safety issue, the most common unsafe situations (precursors) which can be monitored by the FDM must be identified.

Coverage of safety issues is equal to the weighted sum of indicators of unsafe situations’ coverage by FDM divided by the total number of unsafe situations which can be monitored by FDM.

Rate of undesired event detections

This KPI measures the rate of undesired detections for a given FDM event. For a given FDM event, count the number of undesired event detections and divide by the total number of event detections: this gives the ratio of undesired detections. Undesired detections can be due to corrupt data, sensor failure, conversion logic shortcoming or FDM software configuration, necessary crew action , not applicable to the context of the flight.

There should be periodic review of the target KPIs. Such review should take into consideration the performance and effectiveness of each KPI. Any necessary adjustments to previously agreed KPIs, target or alert settings should be substantiated by appropriate safety data and be documented as appropriate. 

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ICAO Doc.9859 SMM, third edition

EUROPEAN OPERATORS FLIGHT DATA MONITORING WORKING GROUP C - Best Practice Document: Key Performance Indicators for a Flight Data Monitoring Programme, Version 1 –  7 April 2017

Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 and associated AMCs and GM.