PIO 20/11
MONTRÉAL, 22 September 2011 – To improve global aviation safety, the European Commission (EC) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed today on the use of a single repository and a common categorization scheme (taxonomy) to report all aviation accidents and incidents worldwide.
 
Under the agreement, ICAO will promote, among its 190 Member States, the European Coordination Centre for Accident and Incident Reporting Systems (ECCAIRS), developed by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) for collecting and analyzing aviation safety data as well as the sharing of safety information.
 
The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU), will promote the use of the ICAO taxonomy as the standard for reporting and exchanging accident and incident information within the EU. The ICAO categorization of accidents is fully compatible with ECCAIRS.
 
“The availability of standardized data at the global level will help to better understand the causes of aviation accidents, to better detect potentially serious safety hazards and to identify emerging safety issues before they become accidents, ultimately enhancing aviation safety everywhere,” explained Matthias Ruete, Director General of Mobility & Transport, European Commission.  
 
“Through this agreement, ICAO and the EC are taking concrete steps to create the first-ever global system for reporting aviation accidents. The signing further demonstrates our long-standing commitment to working together on initiatives and actions that significantly improve the overall effectiveness and sustainability of air transport,” emphasized Raymond Benjamin, Secretary General of ICAO.
 
Since July 2005, Directive 2003/42/EC on Occurrence Reporting in Civil Aviation obliges EU Member States to collect and exchange information about incidents and accidents through ECCAIRS. No such system currently exists at the global level.   
A common taxonomy is indispensable for defining safety issues by enabling a common interpretation of safety data. In this context, ECCAIRS facilitates electronic information exchange and integration among different organizations from various countries, as well as the analysis of safety data originating from multiple sources.
 

This has prompted several non-EU States to select ECCAIRS as their national reporting system. The agreement signed today in Montréal gives new impetus for more States to join ECCAIRS.
 

The agreement further calls for both the European Commission and ICAO to share and harmonize their training and supporting efforts and material for the benefit of all ECCAIRS end-users.
 
The agreement is a follow-up to the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signed earlier this year between the EU and ICAO providing a framework for enhanced cooperation in the field of civil aviation. The MOC makes it possible for Europe to contribute to the work on policy and standard setting in ICAO in the fields of safety, security, air traffic management and environmental protection. ECCAIRS is an important instrument for implementing the safety part of the MOC.
 
For more information, please contact:
Sue-Ann Rapattoni
ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organization
srapattoni@icao.int
+1 (514) 954-8221