European Air Traffic Safety has continued to improve according to new survey

Posted: 8 June 2011 | EUROCONTROL | No comments yet

Air traffic safety has continued to improve in Europe over the last 12 months, according to a EUROCONTROL survey…

Air traffic safety has continued to improve in Europe over the last 12 months, according to a EUROCONTROL survey. This is particularly welcome news at a time when the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is assuming responsibility for the regulation of Air Traffic Management (ATM) on behalf of the European Commission.Since 2002, EUROCONTROL has undertaken regular surveys to measure improvements in ATM safety and determine whether States and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) have well defined and mature frameworks for managing air traffic safety that meet or exceed the requirements set out in European and international requirements.

This survey was carried out in 53 countries plus the Maastricht UAC. On average, the survey finds that ANSPs have a safety maturity of 68.6%, and ATM Regulators 50.2%. ANSPs report that the improvements made in Just Culture and Safety Culture are now having a tangible benefit as can be seen for example with the increasing numbers of reports.

On the regulatory side, the main issue identified is a shortage of suitably trained and qualified staff which hinders regulators’ ability to perform some of their functions.

“The safety maturity methodology has been adopted by the EU as one of the three safety Key Performance Indicators against which safety performance will be judged within the framework of the Single European Sky” said Joe Sultana, Chief Operating Officer at EUROCONTROL. “This survey demonstrates that both regulators and air navigation service providers continue to implement new systems and rules to improve safety in their countries. It underlines that pan-European safety programmes are having a positive affect on improving European ATM Safety.”

“While we are happy with the progress made over the past years we can’t stop here. Introduction of the SES and the involvement of EASA in European ATM Regulation opens up new horizons and challenges that must be met over the next few years, while air traffic will continue to grow.” added Tony Licu, Head of the Safety Unit of the Network Management Directorate in EUROCONTROL.

This survey uses a new methodology developed by EUROCONTROL in close collaboration with many States and CANSO (Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation). It takes into account the current global ATC environment and is based on International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements for service provision and regulatory oversight.

It has been adopted as one of the three safety Key Performance Indicators (KPI) under the EU Performance Scheme for the SES, and adopted by CANSO as their Global Standard for Excellence. The revised methodology will now be the baseline for all future surveys of this type.

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