WASHINGTON -- For the second year in a row, NASA is part of a team chosen to receive one of the most prestigious awards in aviation.
On May 28, the National Aeronautics Association will present the 2008 Robert J. Collier Trophy to the Commercial Aviation Safety Team, or CAST. This unique industry and government partnership was established in 1997 with the goal of reducing the U.S. commercial aviation fatal accident rate by 80 percent in 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," according to the Collier Trophy award nomination the Air Transport Association submitted.
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."
NASA's Aviation Safety Program has been a part of CAST since the team was established. Executive Committee membership includes the director of the Aviation Safety Program in NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington.
"I'm very pleased that the Commercial Aviation Safety Team has been selected for this year's Collier Trophy," said NASA's current Aviation Safety Program Director Amy Pritchett. "NASA's Aviation Safety Program has been instrumental in CAST during its lifetime."
Researchers at four NASA field installations have worked as part of the Aviation Safety Program to develop advanced, affordable technologies to make flying safer. The researchers work at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., and NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
The National Aeronautics Association awarded the 2007 trophy to a team that included NASA's Langley and Ames research centers for their work on Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B, a system that allows aircraft to be tracked by satellite rather than radar.
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