What the CAA Uses the Information For

What the CAA Uses the Information For

The CAA receives safety information from many different sources, including:

  • Accident and incident reports under Part 12;
  • Public complaints and concerns; and
  • Information obtained by the CAA during audits/inspection process and safety investigations.

Safety data and information, as collected by the CAA, can be used for a variety of purposes. In essence, the CAA can use safety data and information for any purpose with respect to its role as a safety regulator.

Safety data and information enables both the CAA and participants to identify issues that need to be addressed. Actions taken to address an issue may be formal — changing privileges, promoting changes to rules, etc, — or less formal, though safety promotion to encourage good practice by system participants.

Safety data and information will be used to:

  • Assess the safety performance of participants in the civil aviation system (for example, risk profiling of operators);
  • Assess the safety performance of ‘logical groups’ (for example, groups of operators, types of aircraft, classes of licence holders, etc) within the civil aviation system;
  • Assess the safety performance of the overall civil aviation system;
  • Identify trends/risks/issues with respect to specific aspects of the civil aviation system (for example, recurring aircraft performance issues, safety risks associated types of operation, geographic locations at higher risk of specific incidents);
  • Enable the CAA to select the best tool (for example, safety promotion) to address the safety risk or issue identified through analysis and assessment, and to adjust or make changes to the regulatory processes, including rules to address safety issues or trends;
  • Support regulatory decision-making;
  • Inform advice provided to the Government and Minister;
  • Inform the policy and rules development programme;
  • Inform the CAA’s strategic planning processes; and
  • Produce reports on the safety performance of the civil aviation system.

Dual-Flight Training Accident Review

One example that illustrates the need for a robust database, and the value that can be derived, is the recent dual-flight training accident review by CAA’s Personnel and Flight Training Unit.

Bill MacGregor, CAA Principal Aviation Examiner and the team analysed 15 years of incidents and events related to the dual-flight training accidents. They didn’t find a ‘magic bullet’ (unfortunately) but they did identify 27 areas of concern with a common theme – accountability.

As a result of this investigation, the CAA changed their certification, surveillance, and audit processes making them more focussed. It has helped them get to grips with the way that training organisations actually do business, rather than looking at the way that they record their business.

“Prior to the dual-flight training review, our audits sometimes felt like an ‘expanded tick box exercise’. Now, armed with this information, our efforts are more focused and we know what questions to ask,” says Bill.

The CAA database contains a lot of useful information that can be used to answer a variety of different questions. For example, does occurrence data indicate a predominant aircraft type? Is there a correlation between airline recruiting, instructor shortage, and the occurrence patterns?

The more information can be collected, the better the picture will be.

Working with Industry

The CAA has strengthened its relationship with industry bodies, the NZ Helicopter Association, and the NZ Aviation Industry Association, and have a Regulatory Intelligence Analyst working closely with them.

In a collaborative effort with industry experts, the CAA analysed every single accident between 2000 and 2015, and as a result now has the ‘safety story’ for both of these groups.

The CAA is committed to maintaining a constant information loop so operators are aware of the main accident types, and the associated causal factors. The challenge now is to push the information as far out into industry to bring down the accident rate, and stop operators from repeating the same types of accident.

Full review document here.