Air transport safety (tran_sf_avia)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E3 : Transport

1.5. Contact mail address

Bech building

5 rue Alphonse Weicker

L-2920 Luxembourg

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 24/09/2015
2.2. Metadata last posted 24/09/2015
2.3. Metadata last update 24/09/2015

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The air accident data are provided to Eurostat by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). EASA as an Agency is responsible for providing common standards of safety and environmental protection in civil aviation in Europe and worldwide. It is the centrepiece of regulations creating a single European market in the aviation industry. The Agency’s responsibilities include aviation safety analysis and research for which it also collects statistics on European and worldwide aviation safety. The statistics are grouped according to type of operation, such as commercial air transport or general aviation, and aircraft category, such as aeroplanes, helicopters or gliders.

The EASA manages and is responsible for the entire data collection. The selection of data made available to Eurostat does not differ from those available through the EASA ( In Eurobase, the following data are available:

  • Air accident victims in commercial air transport, by country of occurrence and country of registry of aircraft (EASA data) (tran_sf_aviaca);

  • Air accident victims in aerial works, by country of occurrence and country of registry of aircraft (EASA data) (tran_sf_aviaaw);

  • Air accident victims in general aviation, by country of occurrence and country of registry of aircraft – maximum take-off mass above 2250 kg (EASA data) (tran_sf_aviagah);

Air accident victims in general aviation by country of occurrence and country of registry of aircraft – maximum take-off mass under 2250 kg (EASA data) (tran_sf_aviagal).

3.2. Classification system

Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 of the European Parliament and the Council of 20 October 2010 on the investigation and prevention of accidents and incidents in civil aviation, repealing Directive 94/56/EC, takes into account the Convention on International Civil Aviation signed in Chicago on 7 December 1944 and implements the latest provisions set in ICAO Annex 13 laying down international standards and recommended practices for aircraft accident and incident investigation. It defines common principles governing the safety investigation of civil aviation accidents and incidents in EU Member States and requires the State of Occurrence or the State of Registry, to investigate accidents and incidents.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has recently established a Network of Analysts (NoA) to provide a formal process to analyse safety data at a European Level. In its early stages, the membership of the NoA will be drawn from the National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) and Investigation Authorities of all EASA Member States.

3.3. Coverage - sector

The statistics are grouped according to the type of operation: commercial air transport, aerial work and general aviation.

The 2013 edition of the Annual Safety Review covers almost all civil aviation activities showing how diverse they can be; from the regular aeroplane flights from one city to another, to a helicopter medical emergency flight in a remote location.

Military aviation and state flights are excluded, except where military and state flights are involved with civil aviation accidents.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

As foreseen by the legal act establishing the EASA, an Annual Safety Review is compiled by EASA to inform the public of the general safety level in the field of civil aviation. To prepare these reviews, the Agency had access to accident information collected by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) through its Accident/Incident Data Reporting (ADREP) system as well as accident statistics published by ICAO.


An accident is defined as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until such time as all such persons have disembarked, in which:

a) a person is fatally or seriously injured as a result of:

— being in the aircraft, or

— direct contact with any part of the aircraft, including parts which have become detached from the aircraft,


— direct exposure to jet blast,

except when the injuries are from natural causes, self-inflicted or inflicted by other persons, or when the injuries are to stowaways hiding outside the areas normally available to the passengers and crew; or

b) the aircraft sustains damage or structural failure which:

— adversely affects the structural strength, performance or flight characteristics of the aircraft, and

— would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component, except for engine failure or damage, when the damage is limited to the engine, its cowlings or accessories; or for damage limited to propellers, wing tips, antennas, tires, brakes, fairings, small dents or puncture holes in the aircraft skin; or

c) the aircraft is missing or is completely inaccessible.


Note 1.— For statistical uniformity only, an injury resulting in death within thirty days of the date of the accident is classified as a fatal injury by ICAO.

Note 2.— An aircraft is considered to be missing when the official search has been terminated and the wreckage has not been located.


  • Commercial air transport: an aircraft operation involving the transport of passengers, cargo or mail for remuneration or hire.

  • Aerial work: an aircraft operation in which an aircraft is used for specialised services such as agriculture, construction, photography, surveying, observation and patrol, search and rescue, or aerial advertisement.

  • General aviation: all civilian flying except scheduled passenger and cargo airlines, air taxi and aerial work operations. General aviation includes operation:

  • Above 2 250 kg: Business aviation (ICAO definition)

  • Below 2 250kg: Non-commercial business aviation e.g. owned aircraft operated for professional purposes; Pleasure flying;             Instructional flying; Air shows.


In only a few cases, injuries and fatalities on the ground are registered. These cases are included and attributed to the relevant aviation category.


In the various Eurobase tables, the dimension VICTIM has three positions:

  • INJ corresponds to persons that sustained minor injuries in an air accident.

Minor injuries can be considered as less than anything mentioned in the definition for serious injuries.

  • INJ_SRL corresponds to persons that sustained serious injuries in an air accident.

These are injuries which is sustained by a person in an accident and which:

a) requires hospitalisation for more than 48 hours, commencing within seven days from the

date the injury was received;

b) results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes or nose);

c) involves lacerations which cause severe haemorrhage, nerve, muscle or tendon damage;

d) involves injury to any internal organ;

e) involves second or third degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 per cent of the body surface; or

f) involves verified exposure to infectious substances or harmful radiation.

  • KIL corresponds to persons which lost their lives in an air accident.

An injury which is sustained by a person in an accident and which results in his death within 30 days of the date of the accident.

The dimension C_REGIS (country of registration of aircraft) contains the position

  • NEASA: the aircraft is not registered in any of the EASA Member States, but the accident occurred in one of the countries listed. EASA does not investigate accident data of non-EASA registered aircraft outside the territories of EASA Member States.

The dimension GEO (country where the accident occurred) contains the position

OTH: the accident did not occur in one of the EASA Member States but elsewhere in the world but it involved an aircraft registered in one of the EASA Member States.

3.5. Statistical unit

The data used in the domain are collected by the national data providers at accident level and made available and sent to the EASA.

3.6. Statistical population

All accident occurrences recorded by the responsible national authorities.

3.7. Reference area

The EASA countries cover the 28 EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

3.8. Coverage - Time

For Commercial Air Transport and General aviation above 2250 kg maximum take-off mass, data are available from 1990 onwards.

For the Aerial work and General Aviation under 2250 kg maximum take-off mass, the first reference year is 2006. Data prior to 2006 for these categories are less reliable.

3.9. Base period

Not available.

4. Unit of measure Top

The unit of measure is the number of persons that have been sustained minor or serious injuries or that were killed in air accidents.

5. Reference Period Top

Data is initially collected by the competent national authorities of the EASA Member States at accident level. Data are made available to the EASA where both EASA and the Network of Analysts (NoA) provide a formal process to analyse safety data at a European Level.

Data in Eurobase are available on annual basis.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Basis for the activities of the EASA is Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency, and repealing Council Directive 91/670/EEC, Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 and Directive 2004/36/EC.

Accident data appear in the Annual Safety Review published by EASA, as required by Article 15(4) of the above-mentioned Regulation (EC) No 216/2008.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Article 15 (1) of the Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 mentions: The Commission, the Agency and the national aviation authorities shall exchange any information available to them in the context of the application of this Regulation and its implementing rules. Entities entrusted with the investigation of civil aviation accidents and incidents, or with the analysis of occurrences, are entitled to access to that information.


Accident data is obtained from Agency databases comprised of data from ICAO, EASA Member States, Eurocontrol and the aviation industry.

Data included in the Annual Safety Review come from a variety of different sources, covering accident and serious incident data as well as contributions from national aviation authorities, Eurocontrol, EUROSTAT, Ascend and the ICAO Safety Indicators Study Group.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

The Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 stipulates the need to limit the dissemination of information to what is strictly required for the purpose of its users, in order to ensure appropriate confidentiality of that information (article 15 (2b)).

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

All data released by the EASA are not confidential. Hence, this also applies to the data available in the various Eurobase tables which indicate the EASA as data source.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Not available.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not available.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Dissemination format') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Data is disseminated on an annual basis.

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Not available.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

A Statistics Explained article will be published in the course of 2015.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free database online.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not available.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Internet address:

10.6. Documentation on methodology

EASA’s Annual Safety Review, which contains the information that is available through the Eurobase tables but also a section with definitions, is available online, through the following link:

10.7. Quality management - documentation

See 11.1

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

The information on air accidents are high level, and due to its relative rarity, these do not need statistical testing. In its cooperation with the EASA, it was agreed that Eurostat would not alter the EASA data received.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

No information available.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Statistics on air accident injuries and fatalities are often available only for commercial aviation, and then again only for large airline companies. The data made available by the EASA add a few other categories, namely the injuries and fatalities that have occurred in the framework of aerial works and in general aviation (with a differentiation in 2 aircraft weight classes).

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Not available.

12.3. Completeness

Data for Commercial Aviation and General aviation above 2250 kg maximum take-off mass are very complete. Data for the other aviation categories are less consistent for earlier years; hence, the relevant tables only include data from 2006 onwards.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Overall accuracy of data is very good as strictly the same concepts and definitions are applied by the EASA Member States.

Data for the last two reference years available are marked as provisional. This is linked to ongoing investigations. Investigations may take as long as three years. Data corrections for those years therefore remain possible.

13.2. Sampling error

Not available.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not available.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

EASA publishes its data around 6 months after the end of the last reference period. These data become available in Eurobase around 10 months after the end of the last reference period.

14.2. Punctuality

Not available.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Not available.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Not available.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Not available.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Not available.

16. Cost and Burden Top

By using EASA data, similar data collections by Eurostat can be avoided, thus reducing the reporting burden. The inclusion of EASA data in Eurostat’s dissemination database should therefore be seen in the framework of streamlining efforts.

In the air transport section of Eurobase (avia), one table with an overlapping content still appears (avia_ac_fatal), based on a different data collection. The other table offers information on the number of accidents (avia_ac_number). For the latter table, a new table with EASA data is foreseen. The tables in the avia domain are foreseen to disappear at medium term.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

All data revisions are taken into account and processed when provided by the national competent authorities. Data of the two last available reference years are marked as provisional. Due to ongoing accident investigations, data adjustments are possible.

17.2. Data revision - practice

Revisions are made by countries as more complete information become available or as a result of quality checks

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Data are collected and/or compiled by the National Safety Authorities at single accident level. Information is then transmitted to the EASA, which is in charge of the compilation at annual intervals.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

See 20.1

18.3. Data collection

For the EASA data available in Eurobase, data are made available by the EASA as an annual extraction from their database. Eurostat calculates EU aggregates and prepares the data files for uploading in Eurobase.

18.4. Data validation

Data are high level and do not need statistical testing. Data validation procedures are applied by the EASA. Eurostat takes over the data as such and does not apply any supplementary validation procedures.

18.5. Data compilation

Data compilations are performed by the EASA, with the exception of some EU aggregates that are calculated by Eurostat.

18.6. Adjustment

Not available.

19. Comment Top

No specific comments.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top