Sir - The article "Confidential safety" (Flight International 24-30 May, P49) makes some controversial statements, which need correcting:

it is not only airlines which have to report "those relatively serious events which result in physical harm to people and damage to equipment". UK Civil Aviation Investigation of Air Accident Regulations require a report to be made, regardless of the size or type of aircraft;

in the UK, such reports are made not to the "national aviation authority (the Civil Aviation Authority), but to the chief inspector of air accidents at the Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the UK Department of Transport;

"less-serious accidents" are reported through company schemes. UK airlines are then required to pass to the CAA details of those which fall within the UK's mandatory occurrence-reporting (MOR) scheme;

in smaller companies, and in general aviation, reports required under the MOR scheme are submitted to the authority;

there is an obligation in the UK for the airline " pass the information on to any other agency, including the aircraft manufacturer".

The UK CAA, which has operated the occurrence-reporting scheme since 1976, has details of nearly 80,000 occurrences. It receives about 5,000 reports a year, which are coded and entered on to a database with the aim of performing analyses, which could improve flight safety.


Head, research and analysis department

CAA Safety Regulation Group

Gatwick, Sussex, UK

Source: Flight International