EATC Aviation Safety
For decades, Air Traffic increases exponentially. Nowadays, thousands of aircraft are flying continuously all over the planet, but Air Transport is considered as being the most secure and modern way to cover long distances.
But despite off all efforts in safety… accidents occur, causing a lot of damage and seriously injured persons or casualties, shocking public sensitivity.
Of course these consequences are unacceptable, so aviation safety is based on a continuous monitoring of hazards. The investigation of all safety relevant occurrences by analysing the result of these investigations are used in order to avoid future incidents. It aims to provide institutions with all relevant means to improve its operational capability while limiting all levels of risk.
The institution mentioned above is part of the European Air Transport Command (EATC) at Eindhoven Air Base, a multinational command to organize and conduct military AT for France, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg. Its Flight Safety Cell is manned with officers of several nations to provide guidance and knowledge about this important task. As an integral institution of each EATC Participating Nations command structure, it provides direct support and analysis.
Safety is not for free – but can be planned ...
EATC’s aviation safety program is designed to involve pre-occurrence activities, including preventive measures and risk management techniques which aim to reduce the probability of an occurrence, or to minimize the aftermaths, including accident - response procedures. The program can be resumed by the Reason model, known also as “Swiss Cheese Model”, where each slize of cheese represents an organizational structure or management level established to eliminate dangerous circumstances consequence.
It is a clear task of the institution to minimize the possible risk by consequently optimizing the ambition at each level. The Flight Safety Cell at the EATC is consequently supporting and monitoring the optimization.
The necessity of Aviation Safety
There are numerous hazards or circumstances thinkable that do have an influence on our safety while in the air. Aviation Safety’s main objective is to uncover human failure in the complex interaction of man and machine.
Therefore EATC’s Aviation Safety policy is characterised by an assessment of the balance of priorities, especially between logistical and mission oriented training flights. The aim of the work done is to provide subject matter expertise and relevant information to the EATC Commander to enable him to constantly adjust the risk threshold for ongoing missions and evaluating all aviation safety and operational factors involved.
EATC Aviation Safety – benefit for the Participating Nations
On the Commander’s behalf, the section is responsible for the management of all Aviation Safety (AS) matters within the EATC and the coordination of all AS relations with national and international AS organisations and flying units of the EATC Participating Nations.
This includes following tasks:
• AS acts as the central point of contact for interoperability and standardisation matters within the EATC,
• Developing EATC AS directives according to and within the framework of national regulations in order to improve harmonization and to establish an adequate level of standardisation in the area of Aviation Safety.
On a wider scale the EATC Aviation Safety Section also established contact to other international - even civil - institutions that deal with the important matter of Aviation Safety.
Taking this into account, to share and evaluate all lessons learned and identified, all these measures will lead to minimize risks in military and civil aviation.
Words: Frank Sotille, Norbert Thomas