Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

Airline, Training, Laser, Civil Reserve Air Fleet, Simulator, MANPADS, surface-to-air missile, stinger, SAM, laser attack, terrorist, homeland security, shoot down, safety, policy, Department of Defense, cost-benefit analysis, tactics, TTP, Surface-to-Air, shoulder-fired, Infrared, risk mitigation, proliferation, 9/11, ISIS, al Qaeda, SA-7, SA-14, Stinger, Airbus 300, Joint Test, JT&E, Flight 17, MH Flight 17, Computer Based Training, Direct Comparison, Expectant Value


Currently, U.S. air carriers do not provide equipment or training necessary to mitigate the risk posed by surface-to-air fire (SAFIRE) threats. These threats consist of self-guided weapons (infrared shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles), manually-aimed threats (small arms, recoilless grenade launchers, rockets, and light anti-aircraft artillery), and hand-held lasers. Technological solutions to counter infrared shoulder-fired missiles have been explored, but were rejected due to prohibitive equipment and maintenance costs. A lower cost option, providing air-carrier pilots with SAFIRE risk-reduction training, has not been formally addressed by the air-carrier industry or the U.S. federal government. This effort will use a business concept, the Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA), to illustrate a method that could be used to help policy makers and stakeholders determine if the SAFIRE threat warrants the individual air-carrier expense associated with a mandatory SAFIRE risk-reduction training program. This project advocates the creation of a panel with (a) the expertise necessary to conduct a detailed CBA of air-carrier expense to determine the necessity for a federally mandated SAFIRE risk-reduction training program; and (b) the authority to implement the policy as determined by the lead agency. To understand the issues surrounding the CBA, it is necessary to examine the nature of the three primary categories of SAFIRE threats, identify potential stakeholders, review notional training options, examine statistical tools, and quantify potential expenses. Two notional CBAs were used to show the difference in results between potential statistical methodologies, with the Direct Comparison model validating the concept and the Expectant Value model showing that the training expense far outweighed the financial risk. Although this project describes how a training program could be developed and implemented, it is not intended to support either the implementation or the absence of SAFIRE risk-reduction training.

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