May 21, 2009

NASA to receive aviation safety award

The U.S. space agency, for the second consecutive year, says it has been chosen to receive one of the most prestigious awards in aviation safety.

The National Aeronautics Association said it will present the 2008 Robert J. Collier Trophy to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Commercial Aviation Safety Team during a May 28 ceremony. NASA's Commercial Aviation Safety Team -- an industry-government partnership -- was established in 1997 with the goal of reducing the U.S. commercial aviation fatal accident rate by 80 percent within 10 years.

CAST represents thousands of people in public agencies and private industry who have worked diligently since 1997 to produce the safest commercial aviation system in the world, the Collier Trophy award nomination said.

The nomination notes the partnership's original goal was difficult to achieve, but that the year 2008 topped the previous year as the safest year in commercial aviation history, and the CAST team is proud to report the risk in fatal commercial accidents has reduced by 83 percent.