Friday, November 7, 2014

Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS)

The Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) reports daily airport or airline occurrences. Any operators could assume these reports of their operation to be annoying facts  and nothing else but to tell the world of what problems they have to fix. There some truth to this since these reports are publicly available and for anyone to view. However, there is also another side to these reports that are extremely valuable to any operator. This information is the discovery of potential unknown operational processes or lack of tools. It is a misconception that people will do what they were told in all situations. It is not that anyone intend to go outside the process, but because minor changes to processes are widely accepted the process deviates over time.

Over time these multiple small changes becomes the norm of what is organizational acceptable. With undocumented changes to a process, the next tolerance change does not take into account deviation from original process, but rather change from current process. Information reported in CADORS could give some clues to what out-of-tolerances an organization accepts.  

Regulatory violations could go unnoticeable until it reaching an unacceptable level.
In the above chart there is an incline in regulatory violations. It could be that this trend is not monitored and unnoticeable.  At some point the trend gets managers attention and mitigation is implemented.  It could be that a process, or how things are done, over time deviated widely from the standard operating procedures. Minor changes were operationally accepted, which sometimes is called "slacking off", when it actually is organizational acceptable process deviations.
In  an SMS world information from CADORS gives invaluable information of operational status. An airport bird occurrence graph could over a few years look like the graph below, with more occurrences in August than any other months. An assumption is that this happens due to more birds in the area during the migratory bird seasons.

An airport may apply different bird strategies applicable to seasonal processes.
An occurrence could be seasonal or organizational.
It takes some initiative and time on the part of both airport-operator and air-operator to investigate and analyze information of reports and then apply to their operations information given in the CADORS. That there are more bird-strikes in August / September does not necessarily imply process deviation in how things are done, but it rather could imply that there are no effective tools available for in-flight bird detections, or tools to move migratory birds from the approach paths.

Analyzing occurrences reports could detect process deviations or ineffective operational tools.