After a year of intensive, collaborative research with a large airline, we finally have the first validated Line Operations Safety Audit for the Cabin (LOSA-C) program available to airlines on a global basis!
The Line Operations Safety Audit (LOSA) program began in the 1990s as a proactive safety tool focusing primarily on airline flight deck operations. Recently, the LOSA concept has been adapted to other aviation sectors including helicopter, ramp, and maintenance operations. During 2015, we took a keen interest in adapting LOSA to cabin operations—not only as a new stand-alone LOSA program—but also as an ideal way to integrate the flight deck with the cabin in order to get a “complete picture” of a typical flight (observations from the very front to the very back of the aircraft—by conducting concurrent LOSAs).
LOSA observers are trained company personnel, and the data collected are confidential and non-punitive. LOSA is built on the Threat and Error Management model (TEM). TEM proactively enables organizations to manage threats, errors, and undesired states that exist in the cabin. These threats, errors, and undesired states can emanate from passengers (i.e., passenger intoxication events), equipment (i.e., MEL items), procedures (i.e., non-adherence to SOPs), policies (i.e., catering protocols), and more. LOSA-C is an ideal way to identify these threats, errors, and undesired states and to understand—in real-time—the cabin crew responses.
A plethora of data is collected by the observers, including both quantitative (metrics) and qualitative (textual) data. Quantitative data are important because we are able to use inferential statistics to support (or refute) hypotheses about any given data set. For example, we can look at correlations (relationships) among variables: Is there a correlation between late departures and a higher rate of cabin crew errors during pushback and taxi-out? Since the sample size should be adequate to infer to the broader operation, these statistically-supported hypotheses (conclusions) can make a huge impact on the allocation of human and financial resources by upper management.
Qualitative data are just as important—if not more important—than quantitative data, because they offer us an insight into the context of what was observed, rather than just a metric. Voluminous amounts of textual data are obtained from a cabin LOSA, including a brief structured interview with the cabin crews about their thoughts and opinions related to specific aspects of the operation. We further analyze these narratives by using Singular Value Decomposition (SVD), which basically searches through all of the text to find important keywords (or word relevance). Certain keywords that appear frequently can then be subject to further investigation and analysis. In fact, these keywords can form the basis of a hypothesis that can be statistically tested!
LOSA-C is an exciting new program and we hope that all airlines will consider the benefits of incorporating this proactive safety tool for their cabin operations. We offer cabin, cockpit, helicopter, ramp, and maintenance LOSA training and full LOSA program implementation to aviation operators on a worldwide basis.
For more information on LOSA-C, or any of our other LOSA courses and programs, click here.