Air Accident Investigation: European Parliament Approves pro-Safety Stance – Council Must Listen!

European pilots and controllers strongly welcome the EP Transport Committee vote, yesterday, providing for strict independence of accident safety investigations from the judicial ones and for solid protection of sensitive safety information. This position will allow Europe to strengthen aviation safety through a significantly improved Accident Investigation Regulation.

EU Transport Ministers in the Council must take good note of the will of Europe's citizens as expressed in the Parliament's unanimous vote. In March 2010, the Council adopted a position that would inevitably force pilots and other safety professionals to stop cooperating in safety investigations, to protect themselves from judicial prosecution.

"The European Parliament Transport Committee has delivered a strong and unambiguous message: safety and judicial investigations must be strictly independent from each other and sensitive safety information must be fully protected if we want to continue preventing future accidents" says Capt. Martin Chalk, ECA President. "We wholeheartedly welcome the pro-safety stance developed by the EP rapporteur Mrs de Veyrac and her fellow-Parliamentarians."

IFATCA President Alexis Brathwaite stresses: "This balanced and unanimous vote is very good news for Europe's travelling public. The EP agrees that the sole objective of any accident investigation should be to understand what happened and why, in order to improve aviation safety, without apportioning blame or liability."

"We praise the excellent work of Mrs de Veyrac and the other Members of Parliament who have significantly improved the initial Commission proposal" adds Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General. "Mrs de Veyrac and her colleagues have received a solid mandate for their upcoming negotiations with the Council of Ministers. We therefore reiterate our calls for the Council to review its initial position and take into account the overwhelming support given by the Parliament and the whole industry to aviation safety."

See ECA / IFATCA Press Release (PDF)

See our Accident Investigation section