In its 2011 annual safety report, the Safety Regulation Commission (SRC) confirms that Europe has met its safety targets as set by ECAC for ATM-related accidents. With data for 2010 showing an increase in the number of incidents reported, which reflects an improvement in the reporting culture, a number of key safety areas to improve have been identified.
Among these areas, a critical concern is raised on the lack of resources and qualified staff at national level dedicated to safety data collection and analysis. The resourcing of the National Supervisory Authorities (NSAs) continues to be a crucial factor for complying with the timelines given for their full range of activities which keep on increasing in parallel to the new Single European Sky (SES) legislative developments.
“Whereas States are seen to be performing well in areas related to the adoption and enactment of European legislation, the 2011 results from the ESIMS Audit Programme (ESARR Implementation Monitoring and Support) again confirm issues in the areas related to the implementation of the basic processes for safety oversight” said Harry Daly, Chairman of the SRC.
The report underlines that the considerable effects of the global economic downturn have yet to be fully felt in the ATM safety field. “Widespread budget cuts have been applied in ATM that can affect the availability of safety resources in the short term” said Harry Daly, Chairman of the SRC.
The report also adds that additional pressure on operating budgets for both Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and regulators is seen as inevitable. The industry will be relying on its previous investments in safety culture, resources and infrastructure to ensure that safety is allocated to the correct place.
“With the legislative developments in the SES, it becomes ever more important to ensure that the difficult economic situation does not have a negative effect on NSAs. Efforts need to be made at European level to improve the support that is given to NSAs and to ensure that they have the resources and the training to deliver their important function.” said Harry Daly, Chairman of the SRC.
The Eurocontrol Agency is assessing how best it could provide support to its Member States.
Date: Feb 20, 2012