Ecorys evaluates air accident investigation legislation

| Transport and Infrastructure

Aviation safety is improving over the years as indicated by a steady reduction of the number of accidents. This is realised in Europe and abroad by a broad range of legislative and technical measures. The thorough investigation of accidents and incidents that have occurred and the dissemination of the lessons learnt to prevent future accidents is a key element in achieving the high safety performance in aviation. European rules for air transport accident and incident investigation were revised in 2010 with the adoption of Regulation (EU) No 996/2010. 

The Directorate-General Mobility and Transport of the European Commission invited Ecorys and its partner the Netherlands Aerospace Centre NLR to provide an independent and evidence-based evaluation of Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 to assess whether the main objectives of the regulation has been achieved since its entry into force. The study team was supported by prof. Pablo Mendes de Leon of Leiden University.

The main conclusion is that the combination of co-regulation and voluntary cooperation measures required by the Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 led to better safety investigations, resulting in improved aviation safety. The European Network of Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authorities (ENCASIA), in which the national Safety Investigation Authorities (SIAs) of most Member States are actively participating, is considered to be one of the most effective elements that were brought by the regulation. However, there is still room for further enhancement of safety investigations. This can be achieved by strengthening the role of ENCASIA and by improving the implementation of the regulation at Member State level. The main conclusion is substantiated by a conclusion for five specific evaluation criteria. Based on the evaluation study, the European Commission started its decision-making process on a possible revision of the Regulation. 

The full evaluation report has been published by the European Commission on 30 August 2018 (click here).