A multifaceted public health approach to statewide aviation safety§

Authors

  • Nicolle A. Mode MS,

    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/Alaska Pacific Regional Office, Anchorage, Alaska
    2. Nicolle Mode & Associates, Pleasanton, California
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  • Mary B. O'Connor MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/Alaska Pacific Regional Office, Anchorage, Alaska
    • 4230 University Drive, Suite 310, Anchorage, AK 99508.
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  • George A. Conway MD, MPH,

    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/Alaska Pacific Regional Office, Anchorage, Alaska
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  • Ryan D. Hill MPH

    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/Alaska Pacific Regional Office, Anchorage, Alaska
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  • Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

  • Institution where work was performed: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Alaska Pacific Regional Office.

  • §

    Disclosure Statement: None of the authors or their institutions has received payment or services from a third party for any aspect of the submitted work. We have no financial relationships to disclose and have not been involved in other activities that readers could perceive to have influence, or that give the appearance of potentially influencing our work.

Abstract

Background

During the 1990s, Alaskan pilots had one of the most hazardous occupations in the US. In 2000, a multifaceted public health initiative was launched, focusing on Alaskan air taxi/commuter (AT) operations, including risk factor identification, improved weather information, and the formation of an industry-led safety organization.

Methods

Effectiveness was assessed by comparing rates of crashes using Poisson regression, comparing trends in annual numbers of crashes, and assessing changes in the number and type of controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) events.

Results

The greatest improvements were seen in Alaska fatal AT crashes with a 57% decrease in rates between time periods. While the number of AT crashes in the rest of the US steadily declined during 1990–2009, Alaska only showed significant declines after 2000. CFIT crashes declined but remained more deadly than other crashes.

Conclusions

This coordinated effort was successful in reducing crashes in the Alaskan AT industry. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:176–186, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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