Allied Pilots Ass Voice
Support For EU Accident Investigation Regulation
September 27, 2010 - The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 11,000 pilots of American Airlines, lauded the European Commission's approval of a new regulation on the investigation and prevention of accidents.
stipulations, the EC regulation affirms that the sole objective of
accident investigation is to prevent future accidents without
attributing blame or liability.
In March 2010, the
European Parliament Transport Committee had adopted a position that
would inevitably force pilots and other safety professionals to stop
cooperating in safety investigations, to protect themselves from
?We commend the
European Commission for ensuring that the focus of the accident
investigation process is placed where it should be?on identifying causal
factors to help prevent a recurrence," said APA President Captain David
Bates. "Accident investigations should not be about assigning blame or
A number of recent
accident investigations in various countries have resulted in criminal
charges against pilots, air traffic controllers and other workers. This
trend has been strongly opposed by pilot unions and other subject-matter
experts routinely involved in the accident-investigation process.
is bound to have a chilling effect on accident investigators' ability to
do their jobs properly," Bates said. "The threat of criminal prosecution
is not conducive to effective accident investigation, which depends on
the full and willing disclosure of relevant information by all
interested parties. The European Commission regulation on aviation
accident investigation represents an important precedent for regulators
around the world."
Alexis Brathwaite stressed "this balanced and unanimous vote is very
good news for
investigations are key drivers for safety improvements, an opportunity
to learn from accidents to prevent them from re-occurring. Safety
professionals, pilots and air traffic controllers cooperate in such
investigations and provide safety testimony. However, the prior proposed
Regulation did not protect this testimony from being used in criminal
proceedings. This would have prevented the free flow of information.
Parliament Transport Committee has delivered a strong and unambiguous
message, safety and judicial investigations must be strictly independent
from each other and sensitive safety information must be fully protected
if we want to continue preventing future accidents" said Capt. Martin
Chalk, ECA President.
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