Online knowledge management tool keeps FAA inspectors on same page

Officials that inspect air facilities worldwide have a central respository of information accessible online

A knowledge management tool implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration’s organization responsible for inspecting thousands of air facilities worldwide has improved communications and reduced costs, according to an FAA official.

Kirk Babcock, project lead for the knowledge services network that’s used by the FAA’s Aviation System Standards organization, said the group’s use of an online knowledge management system has lead to better collaboration. He said the program allows the more than 200 crew members in the organization who are geographically dispersed in seven locations stay on the same page.

Babcock’s organization is part of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization and it operates a fleet of flight inspection aircraft.

He said his organization created a site called the Aircrew Resource Center, where staff maintains aircraft information, mission information, and planning information can be placed online in one spot.

“Having seven different locations, we were actually interpreting all the guidance differently and you actually develop a culture in each one of those areas,” Babcock said. “The crews have really liked this because this whole system they can actually get to from any computer any place in the world as long as it has Internet connection.”

Babcock cited an example in which the organization was able to use the technology to coordinate between several government and nongovernment groups that were involved with air facilities in Antarctica that his organization needed to inspect.

Babcock said that in addition to improving decision-making, communications, standardization and reducing costs, the tool maintains information that can be used to improve future decisions.

Babcock made the comments on May 5 at the Knowledge Management Conference in Washington. The conference was produced by 1105 Government Information Group, Federal Computer Week’s parent organization.

 

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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