How the CAA Analyses

How the CAA Analyses

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The CAA uses safety data and information to understand what is happening within the civil aviation system. Using safety data and information enables the CAA to select the best tool(s) to apply in order to improve the safety performance of the system.

The process of selecting tools can be thought about in two contexts. First, at the system level, analysis of data and information enables trends in the safety performance of the civil aviation system to be understood. This understanding in turn enables decisions to be made about how to change aspects of the civil aviation system to enhance the systems’ safety performance.

Second, safety data and information is used at the level of the document holder or participant within the civil aviation system. Assessment and analysis of safety data and information at this level enables safety performance issues associated with aircraft, aircraft types, operators and operation types, etc, to be identified, and corrective actions to be taken.

The CAA tends not to chase after isolated events. However, all trends start as a single occurrence. The CAA’s Intelligence Safety and Risk Analysis unit adds the individual reports into the combined database from where it can identify events and trends. Once a trend starts to emerge, the raw data is examined to see which factors are contributing to the trend.

In this process, the true significance of an event may not be identified until months, or even years after a report has been received. This makes it hard to give an immediate response, but reports are being used in valuable ways.

From the investigation of an occurrence, the gathered data is used to improve safety through many avenues, including risk assessment, aircrew and engineer education, Airworthiness Directives and in some cases. a rule change. The CAA provides feedback on safety investigation and analysis through a number of means. Occurrence Briefs, including Accidents and GA Defects, are published in Vector every two months. Accident Briefs, Fatal Accident Reports and GA defects are published on the CAA website. The CAA also publishes quarterly and six-monthly safety reports that summarise the safety analysis.