“Points Better Than” is not an Appropriate Phrase in International Aviation Safety

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ARTICLE: South Korea Has A Better Aviation Safety Ranking Than The US

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Citing ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) chart for the proposition that one country‘s civil aviation authority is better than another should not be taken as serious analysis. That audit of South Korea is appropriately relied upon as an independent judgment of that country’s safety competence.

The notion that aviation safety indices are precise meters of safety performance does not reflect the realistic measurability of relative safety. The notion that there are “rulers” which can objectively measure a “9” out of “10” on scales labeled legislation, organization or airworthiness (words which, by their very nature, are subjective) is incredible even on an absolute basis. That incredulity is multiplied when the proposition is that some set of international regulators can make precisely the same measurements of those ambiguous terms in comparison to another Civil Aviation Authority’s competence and record in regulating aviation safety.

Given that inability to make exact numerical grades consistently among the countries assessed, “X points better than” is not an appropriate conclusion.

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