2024 – An exciting year ahead for Data4Safety

As we head into 2024, the development (DEV) phase of the Data4Safety programme continues to advance at high-speed following the recent membership expansion performed during the first full D4S General Assembly in October 2023.

The coming year will see the Programme focus on 3 major axes of development:

  • The D4S big data platform will “go live” and all the D4S Members will be able to access the D4S Metrics Dashboards (e.g. Safety Performance Indicators) and the D4S Blind-Benchmarking functionalities.
  • The first Directed Studies (deep dive analyses) of the DEV phase will be launched on the topics of incorrect altimeter setting and insufficient performance on take-off with the first results available to the D4S Members in the course of the year.
  • The Programme will also consider the next steps in the expansion to further Member Organisations and aviation domains.

In the video below, some of our D4S Members provide an update on some of the key D4S activities from 2023 as well as the status and key features of the Programme.

Data4Safety Takes its Next Step

published on January 2024

What is Data4Safety?

Data4Safety (D4S) is a voluntary partnership programme that aims to identify systemic risks at EU level as well as their mitigations. The programme’s ambition is to significantly increase the safety intelligence capacity in Europe.

This is achieved by a massive collection of aviation data and, equally importantly, by organising the analytical capacity amongst all European aviation safety partners. It enables the EU Member States and Industry to join forces and team up to work together for safety on a scale not so far seen in European aviation.

Data4Safety Roadmap – What happens when and who is involved?

The D4S project began with a feasibility study in 2015 and undertook a proof of concept phase from 2017 to 2022 before moving into the Development Phase in September 2022. The first full General Assembly took place in Cologne on October 19, 2023.

The assembly also saw the formal adoption of the first expansion wave that added 12 Member States National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia), 8 EU Air Operators (Aer Lingus, Edelweiss Air, HOP!, Luxair, Norwegian, TAP, TUI Fly, Wizz), 8 ATM Organisations (Airnav Ireland, Austro Control, DFS, DGAC DSNA, ENAIRE, ENAV, Eurocontrol/MUAC, Skyguide) to EASA, 2 aircraft manufacturers (Airbus, Boeing), 3 NAAs (France, Ireland, Spain) and 6 Air Operators (British Airways, EasyJet, Iberia, KLM, Ryanair and Vueling) who were the D4S Founder Members. Many more have indicated that they also would like to join and that the Programme continues to engage with candidate Organisations. Eventually, the Programme aims to include the entire European aviation community.

Involvement of the industry’s professional representatives was also strengthened with the on-boarding of IFATCA, becoming the second organisation representing the aviation workforce (Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs)) after ECA (Pilots).

The Development phase will run until 2026, when the objective is to transition the Programme to its long-term set-up (Operational phase).

Progressively, the Programme will also extend the D4S Use Cases to bring benefits on sustainability and also (cyber-)security aspects which can have an impact on aviation safety. 

D4S latest

How does Data4Safety function?

D4S collects inputs from across the aviation system, both Industry and EASA Member States. This includes, for example, safety reports, flight data from Air Operators, traffic data from the Air Traffic Management (ATM) system plus weather data. More data sources are progressively considered and included in the D4S Programme as they add value to our understanding of the aviation landscape.

The massive collection and processing of these data sources is made possible by the advent of the Big Data and Data Science technologies that the D4S Programme fully leverages in a central and secure Big Data Platform for Aviation in Europe.

The aviation data gathered on the Big Data platform is then utilised by the experts from the Member States and the Industry who can join forces and team up with the data scientists on the D4S Collaborative Analysis Platform.

From this process, there are outputs that benefit both the wider European Aviation System and also the individual organisations that are involved in D4S. The results include metrics, directed studies on particular safety topics, blind benchmarking and vulnerability discovery (the ability to find the new and novel things that might cause a risk).


The key principles of Data4Safety

D4S has the principle of Just Culture at its heart, with a strong governance to ensure Data Protection for all organisations involved so that they and their staff are fully protected. The programme allows to better identify where risks are (safety issue identification), determine the nature of these risks (risk assessment) and verify if the safety actions deliver the needed level of safety (performance measurement). It aims to develop the capability to discover vulnerabilities in the system across terabytes of data.

The trust environment and data protection

The Big Data platform is managed by a trusted third-party organisation selected by EASA: the Data Processing and Protecting Organisation (DPPO). Under the supervision of a D4S Supervisory Panel (composed of programme members), the DPPO will be responsible for the definition and implementation of a Big Data architecture adapted to the objectives of the Data4Safety Programme. In addition, the DPPO is responsible for the collection, protection and processing of the main safety data sources that are currently scattered within the Aviation System and that will be considered relevant for the D4S programme.

The D4S data protection model ensures authority and control over the management of all data in the D4S data lake according to the programme principles, while taking legal requirements into account. The D4S Data Governance is the reference set of written procedures and protocols developed collaboratively by the Programme Members and validated by the Steering Board to frame and control all operations on the data collected and processed by the Programme.

An inclusive long-term programme?

As we look to the future, D4S will evolve over time into a fully inclusive, collaborative programme that will draw its membership from across the European Aviation Sector and its Communities. It is envisaged that the programme will grow to include not just airlines or aircraft manufacturers, but also airports, engine manufacturers, business jets, training organisations, ground handlers, maintenance organisations and many, many more. 

Want to be involved – who to contact for more information?

Now that you have learned more about D4S and the exciting possibilities it brings for the European Aviation Sector, you are hopefully interested to learn more and even become part of the Programme with your own organisation. 

Please connect with us for more information at Data4Safety [at] (Data4Safety[at]easa[dot]europa[dot]eu)

Learn More

You can find out more about Data4Safety by watching the videos at the links below: