It is for this reason that such bodies as the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) continue to enforce international policies that seek to minimise the number of air travel incidences and accidents. In its 2014 safety report, the ICAO recorded decrease in the number of accidents per one million departure from 3.2 in 2012 to 2.8 in 2013 (ICAO, 2014). This was against 2011 and 2010 rates of 4.2 each. This statistics shows that a lot of progress is being achieved in aviation safety. This research paper therefore seeks to investigate ways in which the implementation of two major flight safety systems namely the flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) and flight data monitoring (FDM) can aid in improving the safety status in air travel. This is done along the need to understanding the challenges that come with the effective integration of these and other flight safety systems.
The FOQA and FDM systems are often thought of as being the same type of system and representing the same outcome. Klein and Militello (2011) however explained that even though these two may be very similar and used interchangeably, they are not the same and do not represent the same outcome. FDM can be said to be the parent safety system introduced by the Flight Safety Foundation and approved by the ICAO for practice for processing recorded data from routine flights. The overall aim of such processing of recorded data is to ensure that there is effective operational risk assessment for all aircrafts that are over 27 tonnes (Diehl, 2013). Out of the FDM, the FOQA was born very specifically by the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) which exempted itself from the ICAO’s mandatory requirement on January 1, 2005 for National Aviation Authorities (NAA) through the FDM (UK Health and Safety Executive, 2011). As a flight safety system, the FOQA acts as a voluntary program or guideline for capturing, analysing and visualising all forms