AirSafetyCentral, developed by Vistair, is having a “significant, tangible impact on airline safety”, according to the Corporate Aviation Safety Executive

The world’s first social media network dedicated to the sharing of aviation safety data has passed a significant membership milestone less than a year after its launch.

The free to join AirSafetyCentral (ASC) now has more than 100 members, including major airlines, business aviation operators and airports from around the world, all reporting and sharing flight safety information.

Developed by Vistair, the leading provider of safety, management and compliance solutions to the global airline industry, ASC is a unique web-based corporate social network that allows airline safety managers to post completed but anonymous safety investigations to the flying community.

Where previously airlines used safety bulletins to broadcast information with little inter-crew collaboration, ASC involves an entire community in active discussions on safety.

It can be deployed both to a user’s private environment or, if desired, can be linked to the site’s broader membership across the aviation world.

ASC provides users with the ability to join groups of similar operators, to share safety data and draw trend analysis from a far larger pool than might otherwise be possible.

Alongside the many airlines, airports and individual aviation professionals sharing safety information on ASC is the Corporate Aviation Safety Executive (CASE).

It was CASE’s founder, TAG Aviation (UK) European Safety Director Malcolm Rusby, who first spotted the potential for an aviation safety-focused social network and asked Vistair to develop the site.

“What they came back with was AirSafetyCentral,” said Malcolm Rusby, “and because of its ease of use and powerful functionality it has really caught on in the aviation community with thousands of safety reports being shared and evaluated in order to spot trends and make flying safer than ever.”

Although Mr Rusby was unable to provide specific examples of how individual airlines were sharing information – ASC operates under a strict code of confidentiality, a crucial element when handling sensitive safety data – he did say potentially hazardous situations had been averted thanks to the site’s users collaborating.

“In one instance an operator discovered a very serious issue with one of their craft and shared that information on AirSafetyCentral,” he said. “Another member of the site, at a different airline but operating the same model of aircraft, read that report and consequently checked their own fleet.

“What they found was the exact same issue as was reported on AirSafetyCentral and they were able to take immediate actions.

“If they hadn’t made that check there and then, that hazard might have gone unnoticed for a long time, causing an extreme risk to flight safety.”

Mr Rusby added: “This is just one example of where AirSafetyCentral is having a significant, tangible impact on airline safety and, with new members joining all the time, such incidents will only increase, helping to make our industry even safer.”

Ian Herbert, CEO and founder of Vistair which developed ASC, said: “To reach 100 members in less than a year, and with very little promotion apart from word of mouth, is a tremendous milestone.

“Although the airline industry is notoriously cut-throat it is widely acknowledged that, when it comes to safety, those competitive instincts are put to one side.

“With that in mind AirSafetyCentral was created as a free offering to the airline industry; it is simply our contribution to safety within the sector, and the knowledge that people are using the site in the way intended, sharing information and improving airline safety around the world, is great news and will produce a greater awareness of safety considerations.”

He added: “This is an entirely new concept for incorporating social networking with safety management and, due to the industry feedback we’ve received and clear enthusiasm for the service, we are investing more in the platform and should soon create a dedicated team specifically for Air Safety Central.”

www.airsafetycentral.com