In close consultation with ENCASIA members, the chairman draws up the annual work programme of the Network in accordance with the objectives of the Regulation. This section contains the current work programme as well as the previous ones.
The annual reports, published with the support of the Commission, cover the activities of the Network. This section contains the annual reports produced since the inception of ENCASIA on 19 January 2011.
ENCASIA is responsible for preparing suggestions to and advising Union institutions on all aspects of development and implementation of Union policies and rules relating to safety investigations and the prevention of accidents and incidents. This section contains the opinions prepared by the Network for Union institutions.
No. ENCASIA does not investigate civil aviation accidents.
This responsibility lies with the Safety Investigation Authorities of each Member State.
ENCASIA is the network grouping Member State Safety Investigation Authorities, each governed by the EU regulations on accident and incident investigation.
Every accident or serious incident involving aircraft certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency shall be the subject of a safety investigation.
The extent of each investigation, as well as the decision to investigate other occurrences (events without immediate consequence) is determined by the concerned safety investigation authority, based on the perceived lessons to be learnt in the context of improving aviation safety.
In this respect, not all events related to aviation are investigated.
An incident involving circumstances indicating that an accident nearly occurred, and was avoided thanks to providence (when no safety barriers worked).
If the outcome of the incident appears to be merely a matter of favourable circumstances, meaning that no safety barriers were identified, then the incident should be considered as serious, and investigated in depth. The Annex of Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 lists examples of incidents that could be serious incidents depending on circumstances.
A safety investigation is an investigation performed by a State authority, independent from the State organisation responsible for the safety of Civil Aviation and any other organisation having an interest in aviation (pilot’s association, manufacturer, airlines, ..) in order to avoid conflicts of interest and any possible external interference in the determination of the causes of the occurrences being investigated.
A safety investigation is also separated from investigations made by Justice. Safety investigations do not to determine blame or liability.
Each Member State finances its own Safety Investigation Authority.
An investigation is generally a lengthy process as many facts must be gathered, checked, cross-checked and analysed to determine causal factors.
It is recommended to issue the final report within a year, otherwise to provide an interim statement at least at each anniversary, detailing the progress of the investigation and any safety issues raised.
Some investigations in general aviation can be concluded within 3 months whereas complex cases can last several years (SWR111, AFR447).
If safety actions are considered necessary prior to the final report, they are processed as soon as possible.
The operator and the manufacturer participate as advisors to provide information to the safety investigators. They also both need to know and understand what happened in order to rapidly take corrective actions for urgent safety issues.
The regulatory authorities can also participate as advisors for the same reasons.
The investigation is conducted by the Safety Investigation Authority of the State where the accident took place.
There are international rules to provide rights and obligations to participants whereas they work for government or industry.
Concerned States (States of Design, Manufacture, Registry and Operator) work together with national delegations that are headed by an official (accredited) representative, supported by the organisation providing information or expertise (manufacturer, pilots, ..).
Also, State having a number of nationals amongst the victims may appoint a representative.
Yes, the investigation is always concluded by a final report, which is public (generally available on the SIA’s website).
To ensure the best evidence is collected as part of the investigation, protection is provided to some records (Article 14 of Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 provides more details on the protection of sensitive safety information). The final report may reference these records.
Specific records which are legally protected will not be made available to anyone who is not part of the safety investigation.
Depending on the circumstances, those who have been directly affected by an accident may receive additional regular briefings by the safety investigation authority, provided that it does not compromise the objectives of the safety investigation and complies with applicable legislation on the protection of personal data.
A safety investigation is performed with the objective to establish the cause of the occurrence, improve aviation safety whilst not apportioning blame or liability. Information gathered during the process of a safety investigation is collected on this basis, with a view to obtaining the best possible evidence.
A judicial investigation is opened with the aim of compensating victims and punishing wrongdoers.
Safety and judicial investigations are often performed in parallel where it is not initially clear whether an accident has any criminal implications. This relies on good cooperation and understanding between the judicial authorities and the safety investigation authorities. (Article 12 of Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 provides more details on the coordination of investigations).
Safety Recommendations are not mandatory as such.
Safety Recommendations are made as part of a safety investigation based on careful consideration of the evidence gathered with a view to improving aviation safety and helping to prevent recurrence.
Safety Recommendations are, in most cases, addressed to States having jurisdiction. They evaluate the implementation of the Recommendation in the broader scope of global aviation safety.