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Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST)

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Category: General General
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary

Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST)

Recognizing that the number of aviation accidents is likely to increase with airline traffic unless the rate of accidents is reduced, US industry and government safety experts in 1997 began separate efforts to significantly lower that rate. Both groups recognized that the only way to achieve meaningful improvement in the already-low rate was to focus resources on the leading causes of accidents, as determined through extensive analysis of accident and incident data.

Beginning with a top-level analysis of accidents occurring over the most recent 10-year period for which significant data was available, the industry group produced its first safety agenda on Feb. 11, 1998. Around the same time, a government team at the FAA (FAA), which was doing the same kind of data analysis, produced a similar, although broader, agenda known as Safer Skies. In addition, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced a five-year, $500 million research and development initiative to improve aviation safety.

Recognizing that cooperation is essential to enhancing safety, the government and industry teams agreed in June of 1998 to merge their respective activities and focus their efforts on the commercial aviation portion of the FAA's Safer Skies agenda. Since then, the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST), as the joint effort is called, has chartered several working groups for a more in-depth analysis of the top accident categories; identification of "intervention strategies" for eliminating or greatly reducing such accidents; and prioritization and coordination of plans for implementing those strategies.

CAST has two goals: to reduce the U.S. commercial aviation fatal accident rate by 80 percent over a 10-year period ending in 2007; and to work with airlines and international aviation organizations to reduce the worldwide commercial aviation fatal accident rate.

CAST Participants

Representatives of the following government organizations, industry associations, and individual aerospace companies comprise CAST currently:



  • Aerospace Industries Association
  • Airbus Industrie
  • Air Line Pilots Association
  • Allied Pilots Association
  • Air Transport Association
  • The Boeing Company
  • Flight Safety Foundation (FSF)
  • IATA
  • Pratt & Whitney (also representing General Electric and Rolls Royce)
  • Regional Airline Association

Representatives of other organizations participate in CAST meetings as observers.

Further Reading