The Flight Safety Foundation, in its latest statements about an air accident investigation system for the future, has rightly criticised the European Union's current proposed solution as unworkable.

The EU proposes a "network" of national air accident investigation boards pooling resources and expertise. It wouldn't work. Accident investigation should be carried out by an empowered, single professional body with the necessary expertise and resources, not what would effectively be a committee, especially a multipolitical, geographically dispersed committee. That would lead to squabbling and compromise.

It is vital that the EU gets this right because, if it does, a good European accident investigation board would become a model for regional boards around the world. The world needs regional bodies because many countries do not have the expertise and resources to support their own. The result is that when air accidents happen in small nations, while they are officially in charge of the investigation, the resources have to come from the few large countries with experts. This is not ideal.

A good European board could eliminate duplication. It would contain multinational expertise, but it must be a fully empowered single, supra-national European agency, with no nonsense like six-monthly rotating national chairmanships or divisions of labour according to national quotas.

Source: Flight International