Beyond accident investigation, a crucial element in preventing aviation accidents is reporting and analysis of events in daily operations that may indicate the existence of potentially serious safety hazards that may lead to accidents if not corrected.
How this information is reported, collected, stored, protected, exchanged, disseminated, analysed and acted upon is set out in Regulation (EU) No 376/2014.
Occurrence reports are stored in the European Central Repository (ECR), managed by the European Commission.
To incentivise the reporting of all safety-relevant aviation events, the Regulation sets out rules on the protection of reporters. In particular, it states that information collected must only be used for the purpose of improving safety, and not against the reporters or other persons mentioned in the reports. The Regulation thus introduces principles of just culture (no fear to report) and requires Member States to designate a body in charge to implement these principles.
The objective of Regulation 376/2014 is to ensure that the necessary safety intelligence is available to support the safety management efforts of the whole European Aviation Community. The information provided through the collection and analysis of occurrence reports under this Regulation should allow the industry and the regulators to be informed about the risks they are facing and to take decisions supported with relevant knowledge and information.
This document aims to explain the intended purpose of Regulation 376/2014 provisions and its implementing regulations, in accordance with the spirit of the agreement found between co-legislators. It proposes, where relevant, examples, with a view to contribute to a consistent and appropriate implementation of Regulation 376/2014 and its implementing rules across the EU.
This paper may be updated by the European Commission, based on feedback and experience with the application of the Regulation and when new delegating or implementing provisions are introduced.