Aviation

EU consults on new drone safety measures

EU consults on new drone safety measures

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published a proposal to regulate the operation of small drones in Europe. The proposed regulation defines the technical and operational requirements for the drones. Technical requirements refer for example to the remote identification of drones. Operational requirements refer among others to geofencing, a system that ensures drones do not enter a prohibited zone. The proposal also addresses the pilots’ qualifications. Furthermore, drone operators will have to register themselves, except when they operate drones lighter than 250g. The […]

New EU taskforce on risk of collisions between drones and planes

New EU taskforce on risk of collisions between drones and planes

The European Aviation Safety Agency has announced the creation of a task force to assess the risk of collision between drones and aircraft. The task force will: Review all relevant ‘occurrences’ including those collected by European member states; Analyse existing studies on the subject of impact between drones and aircraft; Study the vulnerabilities of aircraft (windshields, engines, and airframe) taking into account the different categories of aircraft (large aeroplanes, general aviation, and helicopters) and their associated design and operational requirements; Consider the possibility to […]

Aviation: Pilots warn on new EU safety rules

Aviation: Pilots warn on new EU safety rules

The European Commission has announced plans to update basic air safety rules as part of a package of aviation-related legislation. The proposals were partly welcomed by the European Cockpit Association, representing pilots. Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General said: “The proposed ‘pooling’ of national safety oversight capacities is very welcomed and the mechanisms to deal with weak or ‘failing’ national oversight authorities are an absolute must. However, the proposal to create a European ‘EASA AOC’ [European Aviation Safety Agency Air Operator Certificate] is premature […]

US government report highlights risks of increasing use of automation in aviation sector

US government report highlights risks of increasing use of automation in aviation sector

Aircraft automation can improve efficiency and reduce pilot workload, but recent incidents have shown that pilots that typically fly with automation can make errors when confronted with an unexpected event or when transitioning to manual flying, according to a U.S. Department of Transport Inspector General report published last month. The US Federal Aviation Administration estimates that automation is used 90 percent of the time in flight. “Reliance on automation is a growing concern among industry experts, who have also questioned whether pilots are provided […]

New safety reporting rules for airline staff

New safety reporting rules for airline staff

Pilots and other airline professionals should be more inclined to report safety concerns to their airline or national civil aviation body thanks to new EU rules on the reporting of safety ‘occurrences’ which came into force earlier this month. The new Occurrence Reporting Regulation (EU Reg. 376/2014) is a comprehensive framework and a set of standards for reporting, collecting, storing, protecting and disseminating the relevant safety information. It also introduces requirements on information analysis and adoption of follow-up safety actions at national level. According […]

Aviation safety threatened by ‘race to the bottom’ in crew contracts

Aviation safety threatened by ‘race to the bottom’ in crew contracts

A report by researchers at the University of Ghent into current labour practices in the European aviation industry warns that safety is being compromised by a ‘race to the bottom’ in employment practices. The researchers say pilots, particularly those entering the labour market, are increasingly hired on insecure ‘zero hours’ contracts, are working longer hours in order to pay off large debts accrued during training, and are disinclined to call in sick, report fatigue or even report safety concerns. A patchwork of national rules […]

Position Paper: Flight Time Limitations

Position Paper: Flight Time Limitations

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) recognises that fatigue is a significant contribution to accident risk across the transport modes. It also recognises that the management of fatigue is a complex process and that the proposals from the European Aviation Safety Agency represent a comprehensive attempt to resolve this problem. However, it believes that the proposals do not fully and properly reflect the scientific evidence that should underpin fatigue management. Nor do they fully incorporate the scientific evidence which EASA itself commissioned.    

Transport Safety Performance in the EU – A Statistical Overview

Transport Safety Performance in the EU – A Statistical Overview

Executive Summary Transport crashes in the EU killed about 39,200 EU citizens in 2001, cause over 3.3 million casualties and presently cost over 180 billion Euros, around twice the total EU budget for all activity. Nowadays road crashes in the EU lead to 97% of all transport deaths and to more than 93% of all transport crash costs and are the leading cause of death and hospital admission for citizens under 50 years. Road crashes cost more than congestion and pollution, or cancer and […]

Increasing the Survival Rate in Aircraft Accidents: Impact Protection, Fire survivability and evacuation

Increasing the Survival Rate in Aircraft Accidents: Impact Protection, Fire survivability and evacuation

Increasing survivability: the scope for benefit Up until 1970, the fatal air accident rate world-wide had been falling dramatically. While the rate, since then, has decreased slightly, this has not been accompanied by an equivalent reduction in the fatality rate of those onboard aircraft. Approximately, 90 per cent of aircraft accidents can be categorised as survivable or technically survivable. In round and, of course, fluctuating figures it is estimated that of the 1500 who die each year in air transport accidents some 900 die […]

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