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It is not a secret that there are aviation segments often invisible even to aviation professionals, operational staff. Today topic is one of such. For the details on what ECCAIRS is and its purpose, we are grateful to the Civil Aviation Agency of Montenegro, and the particular details are described in the following text.
What is ECCAIRS?
European Co-ordination centre for Accident and Incident Reporting Systems – ECCAIRS is a tool, the PC application, providing assistance to the States in collecting, sharing and analysing their aviation safety information.
ECCAIRS is a product developed by the Joint Research Centre – JRC of the European Commission. It is developed in accordance with the taxonomy of ICAO ADREP Accident/Incident data reporting system – and content of the ICAO Annex 13 – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, and that is the reason why ICAO approved ECCAIRS in 2004 for collection of information on accidents and serious incidents.
The ECCAIRS mission is to provide digital platform that enables implementation of rules defined in the EU Regulation 376/2014. Likewise, its purpose is to integrate the European National Aviation Authorities (NAA) and Safety Investigation Authorities (SIA), in case of Montenegro it is the National Investigation Commission of accidents and serious incidents of aircraft (KINNS).
The project is managed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency – EASA, upon request of the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move).
It is favourable to have more detailed data in the ECCAIRS database, in order to mitigate the future safety analysis of the occurrences, as well as continuous monitoring of safety risks, development of studies and ensuring reports on European and global aviation safety.
For that reason, the following data can be found and noted in the ECCAIRS database:
• Entities affected by the occurrence
• Airplane category and type
• Air operations
• Airplane/aircraft damage
• Descriptive factors
• Explanatory factors
• Occurrence phases
• Geographical areas
• Level of injury
• Landing gear type
• Lighter-than-air aircraft per “mass group”
• Occurrence category (safety)
• Occurrence classification
• Aircraft propulsion type
Who has access to this base?
Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission distributes ECCAIRS product package to competent authorities (Civil Aviation Administration NAA and bureaus for investigation of accidents SIA) of the EU Member States that are entitled to use software for implementation of the EU Directive 2003/42/EC on occurrence reporting in civil aviation.
The national ECCAIRS contact person can ensure ECCAIRS products to operators and service providers under special conditions:
• National contact person will be able to ensure software only to operators and service providers under their responsibility.
• The use will be limited to those situations where it will enable more efficient distribution of occurrences, information between reporting bodies and national regulators/investigators within the scope of the Directive 2003/42/EC on reporting occurrences in civil aviation.
• Pursuant to the rules defining distribution of information regarding the occurrence reporting, direct access to the ECCAIRS repository shall not be granted to operators and service providers.
• Each national contact person shall ensure necessary technical support to operator and service providers who got software delivered.
• Each national contact person shall inform the Commission about operators and service providers who got ECCAIRS software delivered.
• National contact persons are not allowed to charge the distribution of this software to operators and service providers.
What are the advantages of use of this base?
Current safety system in aviation is mainly reactive and prescribed safety system, where safety improvements are actually the result of technological progress, compliance with adopted regulations and lessons learned from airplane accidents. More proactive system relies on learning as more as possible from occurrences, risks and existing hazards – occurrence reports are the vital part of that process.
Therefore, additional measures should be taken in order to avoid increased number of fatalities and accidents through the longer period of the growth of air traffic. In that perspective, the European Union and its member States initiated the transition towards more proactive safety system based on evidences, focused on the risk and performances. Such system requires systemic and continuous collection of safety information with the aim to identify, assess and address safety hazards. Continuous work is required for the purpose of ensuring that all new hazards or risks are quickly identified and that the mitigation measures are being implemented, as well as revised in case they are inefficient. Apart from that, in the safety system where the objective of the EU and its Member States is to focus available resources to greater risks in order to ensure better safety efficiency of measures taken, safety information support oversight of registered entities (airlines, airports, training organisations…) based on risk.
Thus, collection, analysis and follow-up of occurrences are the central element of such proactive evidence based safety system. This is also reflected on international level, where ICAO rules place systems of reporting and data analysis in the core of safety management.
In that context, on 3 April 2014, the European Union adopted the Regulation No 376/2014 on reporting, analysis and follow-up of occurrences in civil aviation.
Regulation (EU) 376/2014 establishes the framework, in all domains of aviation and at every level (industrial, national and European), for the purpose of collecting the most complete data on safety occurrences and their analysis with the objective to support entire spectre of safety management activities, including the adoption and implementation of mitigation measures where relevant.
Member States should also be enabled to receive information on risks they face on international level and to identify national measures (through the State Safety programme and State Safety Plan), that may be necessary to ensure aviation safety from the wider national perspective.
Does Montenegro have an access to the base and if it does not what is the procedure for enabling it?
At the moment, Montenegro as a non-EU Member State does not have access to the ECCAIRS database i.e. the access to the other EASA Member States’ database. We have the possibility of entering our data (occurrences). The Agency administers data on occurrences in the base using the installed application ECCAIRS Browser, including the review of data, entry of preliminary and final analysis (as applicable).
When will the conditions for full access to ECCAIRS base be created, it depends on speed of implementing Commission Decision (EU) 2022/220 from 15 February 2022.
It is established under the Memorandum of Cooperation between the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organization providing a framework for enhanced cooperation, on the adoption of a Working Arrangement regarding the cooperation in the area of accident and incident reporting in civil aviation, and appointing a chairperson of the European Union in the Joint Committee.