EU Science Hub

Aviation safety

The causes of aviation accidents are complex to understand: rather than by a single failure, they are usually caused by a sequence of events linked one to the other. Often, the same kind of event has already happened somewhere else in the world without causing a fatal accident. Understanding the links between small events that may lead to an accident and analysing all the smallest incidents, failures and other occurrences in daily operations (the so-called precursors) is therefore a crucial element for preventing new accidents.

Directive 2003/42/EC on Occurrence Reporting in Civil Aviation obliges Member States to collect and exchange the information about aviation incidents since July 2005. The JRC has developed and manages the European Coordination Centre for Accident and Incident Reporting Systems (ECCAIRS). It facilitates the collection and exchange of accident and incident information among different organisations from different countries, as well as the analysis of safety data originating from a multitude of sources, thus improving the aviation safety in the European skies.

EU Regulation 996/2010 on the investigation and prevention of accidents and incidents in civil aviation foresees a centralised and standardised way to collect, share and analyse safety recommendations coming out of the investigations of aviation accidents and serious incidents. The JRC collects and shares these safety recommendations in a central repository, the Safety Recommendation Information System (SRIS) in a way similar to what is done for the aviation accident and incident information.

The ECCAIRS and the SRIS system are built on top of the ECCAIRS Common Framework (ECF), a software platform developed by the JRC for reporting and sharing accident and incident reports.