EU reaches whistleblower deal

European pilots and air traffic controllers have welcomed the agreement reached by the EU institutions on the new Occurrence Reporting Regulation.

They say the recent vote in its Transport Committee, the European Parliament has underlined its commitment to legislation that will ensure a much stricter protection of the safety incident data, the reporter and all the persons involved in a safety incident.

It will, they argue, guarantee an appropriate use of the information in a more robust ‘Just Culture’ environment and will also set a comprehensive framework and high standards for collecting, storing and analysing relevant safety incident data.

“This compromise text is very positive news for Europe’s travelling public and for the thousands of pilots and air traffic controllers who day in, day out make sure flights take off, fly to their destinations and land safely,” says Nico Voorbach, ECA President. “As safety professionals we know that a genuine, far-reaching Just Culture environment, based on trust, is a key ingredient for improving aviation safety. This regulation sets the scene for a pro-active approach to prevent air accidents and loss of life in Europe.”

“We welcome the deal struck by the European Parliament and the Member States on this important piece of legislation. This regulation will provide the tools for controllers and pilots to report – in line with our professional commitment to safety – honest mistakes or mishaps in an open, “no-blame” environment. It is now crucial to work together and put these new rules into practice at the national and organisational levels,” says Alexis Brathwaite, IFATCA President & CEO.

“I would like to praise in particular the excellent work of Mrs de Veyrac and her fellow-Parliamentarians,” says Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General. “The EU Parliament played a crucial role in further improving an already good proposal from the Commission. They produced a high quality product, because they understood that the primary objective of this legislation is not to apportion blame or liability but to improve the safety of Europe’s travelling public.”

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