The National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (NAOMS), begun by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1997, aimed to develop a methodology that could be used to survey a wide range of aviation personnel to monitor aviation safety. NASA expected NAOMS surveys to be permanently implemented and to complement existing federal and industry air safety databases by generating ongoing data to track event rates into the future. The project never met these goals and was curtailed in January 2007. GAO was asked to answer these questions: (1) What were the nature and history of NASA's NAOMS project? (2) Was the survey planned, designed, and implemented in accordance with generally accepted survey principles? (3) What steps would make a new survey similar to NAOMS better and more useful? To complete this work, GAO reviewed and analyzed material related to the NAOMS project and interviewed officials from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board. GAO also compared the development of the NAOMS survey with guidelines issued from the Office of Management and Budget, and asked external experts to review and assess the survey's design and implementation.
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