USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Aviation Safety Management Systems

A man sitting at a computer
The Aviation Safety Management Systems Division provides technical and risk analysis expertise to support aviation and aerospace safety. (Adobe Stock Image/Maksim Shmeljov)

About Us

U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s Aviation Safety Management Systems Division provides systems engineering and analysis, operations research, and associated IT expertise to enhance aviation operational safety. We provide technical and risk analysis expertise on aviation and aerospace safety issues.

Our team of IT specialists, engineers, computer scientists, and operations research analysts designs and develops aviation safety business processes, decision tools, and knowledge management systems. A large portion of our work is focused on designing, developing, and maintaining information systems used by FAA aviation safety inspectors.

Our Capabilities

Safety and Security Assessments

  • Develop safety and surveillance information management systems
  • Leverage the principles of safety management systems (SMS) in all our work: taking an organizational view of safety
  • Conduct safety studies, develop prototypes, and support rulemaking to improve the safety of aviation systems
  • Evaluate the continued effectiveness of implemented risk control strategies, and support identification of new hazards

Human Factors Research and Design

  • Provide human factors safety analysis and decision support to ensure management commitment to safety improvement
  • Assist in the effective use of resources, identification of trends, and risk management
  • Analyze and manage safety standards, policies, and directives
  • Identify alternatives, impacts, and risks of existing business processes, standards, and policies with a goal to enhance safety
  • Ensure safety promotion is in place, such as training and communication, to create a positive safety culture at all levels of the workforce

Systems and Infrastructure Modernization and Optimization

  • Integrate and align technology to support aviation safety
  • Deploy systems that align business and organizational goals with systems safety
  • Address safety risk from a management systems standpoint to avoid catastrophic results
  • Incorporate business process re-engineering, requirements definitions, lifecycle cost analysis, and benefits analysis

Applied Data Science

  • Integrate data visualization with data exploration and data analysis, coupled with deep expertise in aviation safety management
  • Apply SMS approach to statistical modeling, predictive analytics, and risk models
  • Leverage data-driven decision-support tools to help ensure availability of enterprise data

Meet Our Team

View selected staff biographies.

Edwin TaitEdwin Tait

Acting Chief

Principal Technical Advisor for Aviation Safety

In addition to serving as acting chief of the Aviation Safety Management Systems Division, Edwin Tait serves as part of our team of principal technical advisors who work across the U.S. DOT Volpe Center to identify emerging transportation technologies, conduct analyses and assessments on topics of national significance, and explore new opportunities in response to evolving national concerns.

Tait serves as principal technical advisor for aviation safety management. Read Edwin Tait’s full bio.