Investigations into causes of accidents and incidents, and the resulting safety recommendations, help to prevent such events from re-occurring and thus play an important role in improving aviation safety. The purpose of investigations is to identify the cause of accidents, rather than to assign blame and liability.
Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 lays down a comprehensive legal framework for the conduct of civil aviation accident and incident investigations in the EU.
The Regulation obliges Member States to set up independent and competent safety investigation authorities and describes their role. It also sets the rules on the protection of sensitive information and evidence collected during investigations. The Regulation also covers rules on assistance to the victims of accidents and their relatives.
To enhance the cooperation between accident investigation authorities in the European Union, the Regulation established the ‘European Network of Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authorities’ (ENCASIA).
Safety recommendations issued by the European accident investigation authorities are publicly available through the European Central Repository of Safety Recommendations.