This paper develops a new quantitative airline safety index based on comparative safety performance and efforts of airlines. The index essentially indicates an airline's overall safety level, relative to other airlines in the context of safety competitiveness and risk. An empirical study of four major airlines in Taiwan is conducted to illustrate how the index is obtained. To facilitate the use of the index as a safety benchmarking and management tool, four safety dimensions corresponding to safety-related organizational divisions of airlines and their associated safety measures are identified. With the use of linguistic terms, subjective assessments of qualitative safety measures via surveys are represented with fuzzy numbers. The relative weights of safety attributes are assessed via surveys using a pairwise comparison process. Based on the concept of optimality, a fuzzy multiattribute decision making approach is developed to obtain a safety index for each airline. The airline safety index helps airlines understand their relative safety strengths and weaknesses in terms of manageable safety attributes, and identify functional areas for safety improvement.
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