Air traffic safety keeping up across Europe

Air traffic management continues to support the operational needs across Europe whilst maintaining safety levels according to a new report issued today by the EUROCONTROL Safety Regulation Commission (SRC).
The 2009 SRC Annual Safety Report says that in 2009, there was no fatal accident directly induced by ATM and only two non-fatal accidents with an indirect ATM contribution. This continues a trend seen over recent years where the number of ATM-related accidents has decreased year-on-year. At the same time, the safety maturity of both Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and Regulators continues to improve. The report notes that whilst there has been an improvement in reporting of safety occurrences, overall progress towards full reporting by States is too slow. In addition, States need to produce more detailed analysis and classification of risks. Safety oversight processes also need to be improved. It is clear that in the future safety will be tested even more rigorously than ever before, said Jos Wilbrink, Chairman of the EUROCONTROL Safety Regulation Commission. Whilst the overall situation is improving on a long-term basis, in order to meet the ten-fold safety improvement aim of the Single European Sky, further efforts will be needed. The report underlines the important role of national supervisory authorities (NSAs) in overseeing safety processes in European countries. In this regard, the lack of funding and resources at NSAs is a concern. With additional pressure being put on operating budgets for both ANSPs and Regulators, it is necessary to keep a rigid focus on safety and continue to invest in both developing a safety culture and the necessary infrastructure. Europe has an ATM system that can and does fully support the systems operational demands. However, major changes are taking place in the way ATM safety is addressed in Europe. With the development of the Single European Sky, we need to continue to work to build the pan-European approach to European air traffic management safety, Jos Wilbrink added. You can view the complete report here:
Kyla Evans


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