EU pilots welcome new reporting rules

European pilots have welcomed the new Occurrence Reporting Regulation, recently presented by the European Commission, as an important step towards better, pro-active prevention of air accidents.

The new regulation creates a comprehensive framework for improving the quality and completeness of occurrence data and for timely identification of safety hazards. It also provides for confidentiality of certain information, which will encourage safety professionals, including pilots, to report incidents and thereby ‘feed’ a forward-looking accident prevention system across Europe.

“This regulation was an absolute necessity for a more efficient European reporting system. It will shift the focus from a primarily ‘reactive’ system, where we tried to learn from accidents, to a pro-active risk- and evidence-based system”, said Nico Voorbach, ECA President. “This is excellent news, and Europe’s pilots will be keen to contribute to making this new system a success.”

“We used to learn many of our safety lessons through investigating accidents. Since they are thankfully decreasing, we have to learn more from the smaller incidents. We encourage our pilots and all other aviation professionals to voluntarily report and share their mishaps, so we all can learn. This important regulation will create a stronger ‘Just Culture’ environment, in which safety incidents can be reported without fear of personal repercussions, even if it is seen as whistleblowing” added Burkhart Kaumanns, ECA Board Director for Technical Affairs. “The Commission has it right: for aviation safety, the facts, the ‘what’ and ‘why’, are infinitely much more important than the ‘who’.

The main objective of this new piece of legislation is to ensure that all occurrences which endanger or could endanger aviation safety are reported, properly collected and effectively analysed to provide a complete and clear picture of aviation safety risks in the EU and its Member States. It also aims at ensuring that all safety information, stored in the European Common Repository, is accessed adequately by appropriate authorities and used strictly for safety enhancement purposes.

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