Sweeping the Dirt Under the Carpet…

Why the European Union is blocking access to safety records?

On an unexpected, not so transparent move, the European Union will begin blocking public access to the aircraft incident reports – MOR’s – Mandatory Occurrence Reports that were previously released under the Freedom of Information Act.

To understand it better, these Incident Reports include all ground and flight operations of an aircraft such as an aircraft collision with a vehicle or a building, runway excursions, bird strikes, loss of control, extreme turbulence, near mid-air, ATC conflicts, or any other event that is not a catastrophic crash.

In the U.S., the NTSB, National Transportation Safety Board provides public access to all incidents and accidents reports through their website, these reports include all occurrences and are considered a valuable tool on the learning process of every professional pilot.

Some guy sitting behind a desk took this decision on benefit of who? Airplane manufacturer? ATC? Government? The argument is that public gets scared if they read the bad news. This is totally untrue, millions of persons around the world take an airplane everyday to go on a business trip, vacations, etc., knowing that is the fastest way to go from one place to another. Same as millions of persons take their car and use the roads knowing that car accidents still are have the highest score on human life loss.

Remember the old saying? “Learn from others mistakes, you wont live long enough to make them all yourself” Absolutely true, prevention is rule number one in aviation, but unfortunately 100 % safe does not exist, precisely because we are humans. And as humans prone to errors.
Those errors have contributed to form the foundation, for example, of CRM – Crew Resource Management.

Up until now only incidents or accidents reports that involve military or government aircraft, police, etc., are keep sometimes confidential for national security reasons. All events that involve civilian aircraft, either private or of public transport must be reported and investigated to know the causes of the occurrence and avoid it happen again.

We don’t need only a tragic occurrence or a catastrophic crash as a source of information for prevention. Thousands of small events that happen everyday feed the basket of information used by everyone involved in aviation to develop safety procedures.

Many people considered aberrant this initiative from the EU is already taking actions to stop it.

We all hope this big step back never happen.

Capt. Ivan

  •   GDL 39