Slowly but surely Eurocontrol and the air navigation service providers in its member states are working on controlling different categories of risk-bearing operational mistakes. The latest target for action is airspace infringements - the unintentional entry into controlled airspace of aircraft that are not cleared, qualified or equipped to enter it.

So far Eurocontrol has come up with strategies to address runway incursion, level busts, and some other occurrences. But strategy to deal with an event category cannot be developed until sufficient information has been gathered about its frequency of occurrence, knowledge of where such events take place, and what the apparent causes are. In other words, Eurocontrol needs the people involved to report on what happened. In the early days of any campaign to rectify a known but unquantified problem, the strategy is based on scanty information some of which is anecdotal. Pilots and controllers know it happens but that's about all they know. Eurocontrol is now appealing to general aviation pilots to report their experiences confidentially on line so the strategy-makers can understand infringements better. In the end, almost all the strategies Eurocontrol and air navigation service providers develop are based on educational and awareness programmes. But until the knowledge exists, the programme cannot be framed. Reporting is vital to the improvement of safety.

Source: Flight International