EU Science Hub

New service for reporting aviation safety occurrences

An aeroplane in take-off against a clear blue sky
Jun 16 2016

A new online service allows organisations and individuals to report aviation safety occurrences to aviation authorities. Developed by the JRC at the request of the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, and in collaboration with aviation authorities, it will inform industry and regulators about the potential risks and hence support their decision-making.

The new service will complement the European Co-ordination Centre for Accident and Incident Reporting Systems (ECCAIRS) and shorten the process which is used to collect different formats of data and convert them into an occurrence report. This represents a major cost-efficiency gain for national authorities and improves the quality of data.

Towards a more proactive air safety system

While air transport remains one of the safest forms of travel, expected air traffic growth in the next decades – exceeding 2% per year – presents a significant challenge to the EU’s efforts to prevent an increase in the number of air accidents. To date, the aviation safety system is mainly a reactive and prescriptive safety system – safety improvements essentially result from technological progress, compliance with prescriptive regulations and lessons learned from accidents. Additional actions are needed to avoid a rise in fatalities and accidents in the future.

With this in view, the EU and Member States have started moving towards a more proactive, evidence-based, risk- and performance-oriented safety system. Such a system requires a systematic and continuous collection of safety information to ensure that any new hazards or risks are rapidly identified and mitigation actions implemented and revised if found to be ineffective. In addition, in a safety system where the EU and Member States are aiming to concentrate available resources on higher risks for a better efficiency of safety measures, safety information supports a risk-based oversight of regulated entities.

The reporting, analysis and follow-up of occurrences is supported by a broader safety risk management process that helps to identify the main safety issues and risks. This process involves continuous dialogue and full engagement from all involved – the industry, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Member States – as part of routine safety management activity. This includes feedback and lessons learned to improve safety.

European legislation (Regulation 376/2014) establishes a framework – across aviation domains and at different levels (industry, national and European) – for the comprehensive collection of safety occurrence data and its analysis. This approach covers the full spectrum of safety management activities, including the adoption and implementation of mitigation actions where relevant. The new service will make it easier for small organisations and individuals to report safety incidents.