July 31, 2002
“A Work in Progress”
On March 4, 1999, a Goldens Bridge Housewife formed an international organization.
On May 10, 2000, the President’s Executive Office praised IASA for bringing to their attention a critical safety issue.
On May 29, 2002, IASA was invited to inspect the wiring on the Space Shuttle Discovery.
Mrs. Lyn S Romano established the International Aviation Safety Association (IASA) on March 4, 1999. Lyn’s forty-four year old husband, Mr. Ray M Romano, was one of the 229 people killed when a Swissair operated MD-11 crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, on September 2, 1998.
The Aviation Safety Void
It soon became apparent to Lyn that this crash highlighted a number of aviation safety issues that were well known among the aviation community - some had been the subject of discussion for more than 20 years. Although Lyn appreciated that the crash would be the subject of a full and thorough investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) she realized there were a range of safety issues that would not form part of their enquiries. What was needed was a truly independent global organization that could tackle a broad range of safety issues free from commercial or political pressures. This was the birth of what would eventually become known around the world as the International Aviation Safety Association (IASA) – a global, politically and financially independent, organization concerned in all aspects of aviation safety.
One of Too Many Issues
If the crash of Swissair flight 111 highlights one safety issue in particular it would be the safety hazards associated with aging wiring in aircraft. This has always been the principal focus of IASA’s work and IASA remains as committed to this issue as she ever was. In a May 10, 2000, Memorandum the President’s Executive Office praised IASA for bringing to the White House’s attention the safety issues associated with aging wiring in aircraft. They went on to declare this issue to be one of “national concern” and established the Wire System Safety Inter-Agency Working Group (WSSIWG).
These concerns have been given further momentum by the issuance of a number of safety recommendations by the TSB culminating in the August 28, 2001, “Material Flammability Standards” recommendations. These provided for, among other things, the revision of regulations based on realistic ignition scenarios, to prevent the use of any material that sustains or propagates fire, performance testing and a stringent certification regime for aircraft wiring.
IASA has briefed governments and regulators worldwide on this and other issues, including, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), the UK CAA, the US National Transportation Safety Board, the US General Accounting Office, the UK House of Commons, Transport Canada and the (European) Joint Aviation Authorities.
Kennedy Space Center
In May 2002, IASA was invited by NASA to the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to inspect the wiring on the space shuttle Discovery during “her” 20-24 month maintenance mode. The inspection was carried out by Lyn alone and formed the center-piece of a memorable trip. IASA had the opportunity to observe “best practices” in operation and discuss wiring issues in a professional, candid and frank manner with a world-respected organization that prides itself on its “safety first” approach. In Lyn’s words “NASA has shown me, not in words, but by their aggressive action they do whatever is humanly possible to ensure the safety of their crew”.
The terrorist atrocities of September 11, 2001, highlighted gross deficiencies in both airport and aircraft security and resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent lives. The intense public and political scrutiny of these issues resulted in the formation of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) that took over control of these functions from the FAA. Innocent blood was shed before these reforms took place. IASA has always sought a proactive approach to aviation safety issues instead of a reactive one. IASA will continue to seek more stringent security at our airports and on our aircraft.
Aviation Safety is a global matter. This has been one of the corner stones of our work and it is for this reason that IASA’s offices are strategically located around the world. With principal offices in the United States, Australia and Europe, IASA ensures that safety issues are afforded maximum exposure and actions coordinated to seek reforms where necessary.
“One life lost is one too many. One life lost needlessly is reprehensible.”
©The International Aviation Safety Association (IASA) 2002 All Rights Reserved