MEPs vote for improved aviation safety

The European Parliament adopted today new rules to help prevent aircraft accidents.

With the “Regulation on the reporting, analysis and follow up of occurrences”, information on aviation safety incidents will flow more efficiently and faster, allowing for a thorough analysis and adoption of necessary action to help prevent similar incidents from happening again.

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: “Most aircraft accidents result from a combination of smaller errors or malfunctions which, taken together, cause an accident. By gathering more information about isolated safety incidents, and taking action to address them, we will help to prevent future accidents. With the expected increase in air traffic in the next two decades, we need to deliver such a system, and make sure that the EU remains the leading region in the world for aviation safety. I am glad the European Parliament shares our vision and fully supported our proposal.”

The system involves all actors in the aviation sector – airlines, manufacturers, air traffic controllers, aircrew, mechanics, national authorities and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); they must gather and exchange incident information, and ensure that action is taken where it is most effective. A European network of safety analysts will be hosted by the EASA. It will be charged with detecting trends and safety issues of pan-European significance and with recommending appropriate action.

The new system is a cornerstone of a modern approach to safety policy that seeks to improve safety further by learning not only from accidents but also from small incidents and occurrences even if they have not had serious consequences in themselves.

Following the vote in the European Parliament, the Council is expected to endorse the text as adopted by the Parliament, in accordance with the informal agreement reached between the two institutions in December 2013. The new regulation is expected to enter into force in May 2014. It will apply in full 18 months later. In the meantime, preparations will be made to adopt the necessary implementing regulations and to develop necessary guidance material and IT applications for the recording, exchange and analysis of information.

Read More: IP 12/1406 and Memo 12/1008.

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