Incident reporting seen as key concern in ensuring standards are raised

Eurocontrol has initiated a follow-up air traffic management safety programme that aims to focus on five high-priority areas and build on the organisation’s earlier strategic safety action plan.

The programme will concentrate on enhancing safety in areas that will benefit most by the end of 2008. These areas include safety legislation, incident reporting, day-to-day operational risk mitigation, system safety defences, and overall safety management.

The new initiative follows on from the Eurocontrol Strategic Safety Action Plan, unveiled two years ago, which aimed to instil a strong safety culture across the European Civil Aviation Conference states. Eurocontrol says that this earlier plan – which addressed such issues as training, procedures and technology – has had a “substantial and measurable impact” on air traffic control safety.

Particular attention will be paid to incident reporting under the new programme. Eurocontrol’s most recent performance review highlighted this as an area that is still generating concern.

In the report, the Eurocontrol Performance Review Commission said it remained concerned about the quality and consistency of safety incident reporting across Europe due to cultural impediments. It said that 15 states, representing 71% of traffic, can be considered as having mature reporting of airspace events such as separation infringements. Another six states report with low data quality. Nine report irregularly, while four others have not reported at all since 2001. The review commission described the situation as “most unsatisfactory”.

Heading the new Eurocontrol safety programme is Tony Licu, who says: “The programme is looking forwards to 2008 and aims to raise safety standards in the light of air traffic growth.

“Moreover, it has been designed to satisfy stakeholder demands for implementation actions that are visible, measurable, and will achieve results in the short term.”


Source: Flight International