EASA 2017 Annual Safety Review
Continuously Improving Aviation Safety Throughout Europe
The Annual Safety Review is 117 pages replete with tables and charts. The basis of the analysis is two specific data sources: EASA’s Occurrence Database and European Central Repository. The point of this review is to focus the community on continuously improving aviation safety throughout Europe. The European Plan for Aviation Safety is a systemic review of accidents’ and incidents’ causal factors.
Consistent with the SMS regimen, the EPAS highlights “emerging safety issues in order to ensure a high level of safety”. The Plan is developed by the Agency in consultation with the Member States and industry through the SRM process.
Interestingly, EASA states that its “Member States are committed to the implementation of the Plan through their State programs and plans.”
- 2016 has brought continued improvements in safety across almost every operational domain. It was the lowest year in terms of fatalities in airline operations in aviation history.
- During the past year EASA has advanced and developed key strategic activities across a diverse range of new and emerging.
- The Agency has recently published the notice of proposed amendment on the regulatory framework for the operation of drones.
- With the emergence of new and more sophisticated cyber threats, EASA has commenced the implementation of the European Centre for Cyber Security in Aviation. The Agency continues to work with partners in Europe and at a global level to monitor the threat of conflict zones and provide rapid advice to civil aviation.
- Over the past year, the Agency has further refined the way in which it applies Safety Risk Management principles. In particular, the collaborative analysis groups, which bring together expertise from authorities and industry stakeholders have proved to be successful tools in further underpinning a data-driven approach to managing safety, which is now also reflected in the latest edition of the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS).
→ Here are some of the findings at the end of the Summary. Their relevance to US operations hopefully will stimulate your interest enough to cause you to read the full report!
“Performed Safety Issue Assessments and identified actions Continuing with the SRM, the Collaborative Analysis Group for CAT aeroplanes, composed of industry stakeholders, Member States and the Agency representatives, is currently working on several safety assessments on safety issues that were identified during 2016.
Crew Resource Management: The assessment concluded that the performed regulatory actions (revision of AMC and GM on Crew Resource Management (CRM) training) were sufficient, but that there was a need to support implementation with additional safety promotion material so as to provide operators and training organisations with the best practices available. In November 2016, the Agency organised a dedicated workshop on CRM where different stakeholders presented their approach to CRM implementation. The Agency will collect and publish a list of best practices for CRM implementation (SPT.079).
Entry of Erroneous Take-Off Parameters: The assessment of the safety issue and the later review of the data obtained via a targeted survey showed that the issue was more common than initially estimated. Therefore, the Agency, together with the main stakeholders, decided to publish a Safety Information Bulletin to raise the awareness of the operators and flight crews and to encourage the monitoring of the issue through FDM programmes. The Agency will launch a further survey to gauge the efficiency of the actions launched and the need for followup initiatives.
Ice On-Ground and In-Flight: As part of the former safety issue on “flying in adverse weather conditions”, the CAT Aeroplane CAG launched a detailed assessment of two icing-related scenarios, on-ground and in-flight. The ice-on-ground assessment put forward a number of recommendations for safety actions ranging from the improvements to the regulatory framework for de-icing providers, research on the means to estimate precipitation intensity, to the assessment of technical solutions that estimate the degradation of aircraft performance during the take-off run. All the proposed safety actions are being assessed under the Preliminary Impact Assessment (PIA) process so as to determine the most efficient actions be implemented. The assessment of in-flight icing is in its final stage. In the same manner, the assessment will identify the areas of improvement and draft possible safety actions, which will be fed into the PIA process.
Flight Crew Awareness: The assessment team reviewed recent accident investigations with a view to modelling those situations where flight crew awareness was a factor. The assessment established two main scenarios: The flight crew failed to properly react to an automation disconnection or un-commanded mode transition and to properly manage the aircraft attitude, energy or flight path and; the flight crew being surprised by an event that they normally should have anticipated as part of managing the flight or should have detected through active monitoring. The assessment team is finalising the evaluation of both scenarios and their impact on the performance of the flight crew. The assessment will offer conclusions addressing the need for further actions beyond those ones already launched.
Inadequate Handling of Go-Around: The assessment team is finalising the analysis, which will be based on a data review of accidents and serious incidents that were investigated over the past 10 years and involved an inadequate handling of the go-around manoeuvre. Per the SRM process, safety actions proposed in the assessment report will feed the PIA process.
Main Action Areas in the EPAS
There is a wide range of different EPAS actions that already cover many of the key risk areas that have been outlined in this chapter. Owing to the number of those actions, it is difficult to summarise them here. However, the action areas at the operational level are split into the strategic key risk areas of aircraft upset and runway safety, covering excursions and collisions.
Aircraft Upset: The main EPAS actions include RMT.0397 on unintended or inappropriate rudder usage (rudder reversals), RMT.0581 concerning loss of control – prevention and recovery training and RMT.0647 on loss of control or loss of flight path during go-around or climb. There are also a number of safety promotion tasks covering this key risk area.
Runway Safety: For the key risk areas of runway collisions and runway excursions, EPAS actions include RMT.0296 on the review of aeroplane performance requirements for CAT operations, RMT.0369 concerning the prediction of wind shear for aeroplane CAT operations (IRs), and RMT.0570 on the reduction of runway excursions.”
[NOTE: spellings are EUROenglish!]