NASA Releases Air Safety Report, Sort Of

NASA released that controversial data on commercial aviation suggesting there have many more near-misses and other dangerous air traffic incidents than previously reported. Or at least that’s what we’re told it suggests.

NASA released the heavily redacted survey results on New Year’s eve without analysis, and presented it in such a way that independent analysis seems to be very difficult.

It’s as if we asked a waiter for a glass of water and he came back and dumped it on our heads.

NASA had previously refused to release the data, saying it would alarm passengers and hurt airline profits. An outcry ensued, and I doubt it will end here.

The Associated Press reported that:

The data that NASA released was "intentionally designed to prevent people from analyzing the rates properly and are designed to entrap analysts into computing rates that are much higher than the survey really shows," said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor and survey expert who helped design the project for NASA. 

Meanwhile, the Air Transport Association released a statement urging that the report be viewed in context. Good idea. Now if NASA would provide some context ….


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