SKYbrary.aero platform modernization
SKYbrary.aero is a website dedicated to aviation safety. Its objective is to become a single point of reference by making the accumulated knowledge universally available and accessible by various individuals and aviation organisations. It was initiated by EUROCONTROL in partnership with various entities, such as ICAO, the Flight safety foundation, the UK Flight safety committee, and others.
The site content comprises three major parts: safety-related articles, accidents and incidents reports and supporting databases. The articles are written by aviation professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in aircraft operations and air traffic management. They cover various aspects of the risks, associated with aviation safety and can be of use to pilots, air traffic controllers and aviation enthusiasts that wish to expand their knowledge. The accident and incident reports present various aviation occurrences with focus on the lessons learned that help prevent occurrences from happening again. The databases for aircraft, aerodromes, operators, and others provide general data on the respective items as well as information about the relevant accidents and incidents, e.g., those that happened over a particular State or involved a specific aircraft type.
One of the special traits of SKYbrary is its continuous improvement. New content (articles, accident reports, database entries) is created each month and the existing knowledge is subject to regular reviews and updates to be in line with the latest changes in the field of aviation. In addition, a robust content management and control process supported by appropriate user rights management ensures the needed quality, credibility, and consistency of stored safety data. As a result, SKYbrary is recognized as a reliable source of information worldwide and the number of visitors is increasing each year and the results from the site are often top picks of the search engines.
As SKYbrary continues to expand both in terms of quantity and quality, new features are regularly added. Examples of these are the bookshelf and the SKYclips section. The former is a library containing various documents (legislative acts, books, magazines, bulletins, investigation reports, etc.) used to support the articles and provide deeper insight into specific matters. The latter contains short animations which focus on a single safety topic and present a concise summary.
The website is built as a content management system which allows various interconnections between the different items and facilitates a user-friendly browsing experience. For example, reading about an accident provides resources related to the risks that caused the event and the user can easily find occurrences where the same type of aircraft was involved. The risk-related articles often contain queries that create dynamic lists of related accidents and incidents that show the relevance and practical aspects of the issue being discussed.
SKYbrary is currently based on the Drupal open-source platform. The transition from the previously used MediaWiki was done in 2021 and facilitates better content management. It also allows the incorporation of new features, such as training courses, better user authentication and more. In addition, the site received a new, fresher look and feel and is now more friendly to mobile devices.
The CIS team’s involvement in the SKYbrary project is twofold. The aviation specialists have participated in the expansion and maintenance of the knowledge base for more than ten years and the software experts facilitated the development of the new platform and the smooth transition from the legacy one.