Europe proposes tighter rules on event reporting

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If newly-released European Commission proposals on aviation incident reporting are approved, full participation in reporting and sharing of the information among European Union states will become compulsory.

Some EU states already do this, but the Commission says it is trying to force those states that are dragging their feet to come into line, on the grounds that the EU needs complete data about safety-related incidents that happen in day-to-day airline operations if it is to be able to have a truly pro-active accident prevention system.

European Commission vice-president Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, says: "With more than 800 million passengers flying in Europe every year and with traffic expected to almost double in the next two decades, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to prevent accidents, with the terrible pain and suffering that results from them. These new rules will contribute to achieving this goal."

In order to overcome "shortcomings" of the current system, the Commission explains, the new regulation will ensure full awareness of actual and potential risks in aviation safety by improving the collection of safety occurrences.

It will also aim to establish a system that lets people "feel confident" about reporting information, and ensures that the information collected is analysed and actions are taken and their effectiveness monitored.

This proposal will go forward for review and amendment by the European Parliament and Council.