Download the PDF Version of the March 2022 Air Ops News here.
The importance of resilience in these challenging times
With Easter approaching, airports are filling up and we can really be hopeful that we will see a major recovery this summer. Naturally, the conflict in Ukraine is also at the front of our minds. There is nothing any of us can really say to comfort those impacted by the terrible situations we see on our news screens. Certainly not in our Air Ops News here.
What we can do is to acknowledge how the tragic scenes impact us on a personal level. When we are thinking about what is happening in the world, this naturally impacts our performance as individuals with a knock-off effect on the delivery of safe and effective operations. The more resilient we can be, the better we can deal with the challenges we face - we previously published an interesting article on Resilience. From an operational perspective, it is also important to know where to find the latest safety information about the conflict and the risks to our operations - this is a particular focus this month. The Collaborative Groups are working on a specific Safety Risk Portfolio surrounding the conflict and this will be available very soon. In the meantime for the March 2022 issue of Air Ops News you will find the following:
- Ukraine Conflict Information - an update on what has been published so far from EASA.
- Helping people perform to their best - the importance of managing bio-psychosocial stress in your SMS.
- New Fuel Management Rules - the latest update on RMT.0573 that is about to be published.
You can also learn about the latest EASA acronym of the month, the latest on Disruptive Passengers , exciting events including the Evaluation of the Aerodrome Rules and support to the new Fuel Rules, the latest rulemaking updates and links to lots of interesting articles from our safety partners around the world. As always, if you have anything at all you would like to share with the Air Ops Community (an article or event perhaps), let us know by emailing us at email@example.com.
All the latest information related to the conflict in Ukraine
In any crisis situation things are continually changing. It is important to know where you can find all the latest information if you need it in a hurry. Bookmark the EASA news page or better still use one of your social media accounts or google profile to create an account for the EASA website and sign up for news updates. That way you won't miss anything. As soon as something new is published you will get an email notification. Another option is to keep an eye on the different EASA social media channels, we always share important events through the EASA accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Within your management system, it's important to continually be looking at how the evolving situation might create risks for your own operations. The EASA Collaborative Groups are working on a new Safety Issues report to help with that. You should also be aware of the following publications and updates from EASA that has been published so far. They are shown in date order from the most recent to the oldest. Click the hyperlinks to go directly to each of the publications/ news items.
- EASA Safety Information Bulletin (SIB) to warn of intermittent GNSS outages near Ukraine conflict areas.
- Details of implementation of EU restrictive measures against Russia.
- Launch of the European Information Sharing and Cooperation Platform on Conflict Zones.
- Most recent update to the Conflict Zone Information Bulletin (CZIB) on Ukraine - update on 24 March to reflect the opening of some Moldovan airspace.
At this point its worth first introducing our Acronym of the Month - Conflict Zone Information Bulletin (CZIB). EASA hosts all CZIBs on this page on the EASA Website. You cannot manage safety without considering the wider risks posed by conflict situations around the world. The CZIBs on this webpage covers airspace around the world. The information in the bulletins is vital reading for any airline with global operations.
Helping people perform to their best - wellbeing is more that just yoghurt and yoga, it's about effective organisations with happy staff
In aviation, our job is to ensure safe and effective operations, every single day. To do that we rely on people to fly aircraft or operate complex machinery all while interacting lots of different people. Everyone in the system needs to be able to perform to their best to make sure everything happens safely and on time (as much as possible). In the same way we invest a lot of money and effort in ensuring that our aircraft and equipment can perform in difficult conditions, we need to do the same for our people.
This is why "Wellbeing" is so important. There has been a lot of talk about wellbeing during the pandemic. You probably have your own idea about what it is. The mental model in your head may or may not include yoghurt and yoga but it's worth quickly talking about some common misconceptions.
While eating well and taking physical exercise can have a positive impact on wellbeing. At an organisational level, just thinking about this side of wellbeing is mostly window dressing to make people feel like they are doing something. The important think is to have a positive impact on the physical, mental and social aspects of our lives that make up wellbeing. It takes an awful lot of yoghurt and yoga to have any meaningful impact.
At the other end of the scale, another misconception about wellbeing is that it is the type of mental health first aid that come from health professionals or peer support programmes. Again, this is part of the puzzle, but one cannot rely only on health professionals and peer support programmes. Another view of wellbeing that is sometimes seen, particularly when it comes to mental health, is that this is a problem for weak people who need to “man, or woman, up”. Hopefully this attitude can be confined to the history books where it belongs.
So you are perhaps wondering what wellbeing is then? The World Health Organisation defines wellbeing as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Different people focus on different aspects of wellbeing. Some people focus a lot of mental wellbeing while others focus on the physical aspects. In reality there are various things that make up our overall wellbeing. The ‘BioPsychoSocial model of Health’ allows us to think of our health as a three-legged stool, where each of the legs represents one of the pillars: biological, psychological and social. The physical, mental and social aspects of our health are interdependent and a holistic approach is needed to ensure wellbeing. The definition we are using for the purpose of our work is this:
“A state in which the individual is able, through the self-awareness and self-management of the physical, psychological, social, and practical aspects of their life, to work positively and productively coping with the stresses they face while achieving their personal goals and contributing in a meaningful way.”
During our recent Wellbeing in Aviation Awareness Week we focussed on 4 key parts to setting up an effective wellbeing programme. Follow the different links in each area and learn how to help your teams perform like the super-heroes they are:
- The challenge aviation faces with wellbeing and the need to manage bio-psycho-social risks in your Safety Management System.
- Engaging with strategic leaders to get buy in for wellbeing at the highest level of any organisation.
- The key role of operational managers in ensuring wellbeing is actually a reality in day-to-day operations.
- How you have an individual responsibility for self-care so that you can play your part in helping to achieve safe and effective operations.
We will be developing a lot more work on wellbeing and the management of bio-psycho-social risks over the coming months so keep an eye on the Air Ops Community for all the latest information.
You can also support our safety partners at Kura Human Factors who are working with psychologists from Sheffield Hallam University to develop a measure of stress in aviation personnel. They would welcome you to participate in this process by completing a short survey (5-10 minutes) about your experiences and general wellbeing in relation to your work. They are looking for active cabin crew and pilots to complete the survey. Your support and contribution to this researchis valued. More details of the study can be found when you follow this link.
If you have any questions about the research you can contact Dr Catherine Day, email: firstname.lastname@example.org”
EASA publishes new Fuel Management rules for operators
You may or may not be aware that EASA has been working on new rulemaking on the topic of Fuel Management. This has been done within Rulemaking Task, RMT.0573. On March 25, the decision was officially published on the EASA website. The decision helps to support environmental improvements in aviation. It allows operators to reduce the amount of fuel carried during operations, which reduces the CO2 emissions of the overall flight and hence its environmental impact.
Of course its vitally important that there is no reduction in safety. The new rules make sure that aircraft carry enough fuel to ensure the safety of operations in case their flight plan needs to change for reasons that could include the delays on approach to the destination airport or even the impossibility to land due to weather considerations or other indeed anything else. Carriage of this extra fuel, adds weight to the aircraft, increases the fuel consumption and total emissions from the flight.
The amount of additional fuel required can be optimised, while continuing to ensure high safety levels, due to improved risk assessment, calculations based on better data and better decision making. The new rules come as a regulatory package, which consists of Regulation (EU) 2021/1296 and ED Decision 2022/005/R providing the AMC and GM. These EASA rules are also aligned with the latest guidance from ICAO.
One additional point is that the fuel management principles will also apply for aircraft powered fully or partially by alternative energy sources, such as electric aircraft. Another great step forward in terms of the environmental impact of aviation.
The most important things for you to know:
- These Rules will enter into force on October 30, 2022.
- They bring in three different fuel schemes: a basic fuel scheme, fuel scheme with variations and individual fuel scheme. The transition from the current rules to the basic fuel scheme requires little additional effort from the perspective of an air operator. The other two schemes are voluntary and will take more resources to implement as they require enhanced monitoring capabilities from the airlines. National authorities will also have to adjust their oversight to ensure that safety levels are not compromised.
- EASA will provide support for air operators through the Safety Promotion material in Safety Promotion Task (SPT.0097) outlined in EPAS Volume II (Page 71). More updates on these Rules will be posted in the EASA Air Ops Community in the coming weeks. We will also host a Webinar on this topic from 1330-1530 on Tuesday July 5, 2022. You can already register for this Webinar at the link here. You can also submit questions for the Fuel Rules team via Sli.Do using #FuelRules and passcode 4qetbf.
Disruptive Passenger Campaign will launch on 2 May 2022
We have delayed the launch of the disruptive passenger campaign until 2 May 2022. If you work for an airport or airline, you will likely have experienced an increase in disruptive passengers - we would love to have you involved. Be part of the campaign by contacting the EASA Safety Promotion Team on email@example.com. More information will be available in the coming weeks.
Lots of interesting EASA events coming up.......
Over the coming months we continue our collaboration with the industry on a number of important topics. For anyone wondering about the rescheduling of the 5th EBT Webinar that was due to take place on 24th March - apologies for the inconvenience. We will set another date for this as soon as possible.
- 6 April: Workshop on the Evaluation of the Aerodrome Regulation.
- 22 April: Conversation Aviation - SMS Q&A.
- 14-16 June: EASA-FAA Conference in Washington, USA.
- 30 June: Webinar on the EU Ground Handling Regulation.
- 5 July: Webinar on the new Fuel Rules.
EASA Updates and some other great articles.......
There are lots of interesting and engaging articles, videos, documents and other materials being created by all sorts of people around the world of aviation safety. We are always finding really interesting and exciting things so we thought it would be useful to share them with you - here are the highlights (as always, click the title to open the article, video or webpage):
- EASA Guidelines on Vertiports: World's first guidelines outlining the design specifications for Vertiports.
- Design and Certification Newsletter: All the latest from EASA's technical experts.
- Latest EASA Easy Access Rules: Rules on SERA updated with radiotelephony phraseologies and FIS.
- European Action Plan for Airspace Infringement Risk Reduction: Skybrary have recently published the latest plan to reduce the risks of mid-air collisions. The latest 2.0 Version has a number of important recommendations that focus on Airspace Design, ANSPs, Airspace Users, AIM and Met service providers and Regulatory Authorities.
- Airbus Safety First - Prevention of EGT Overlimit Events: Following a number of reports of Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) overlimit events at take-off that led to a significant increase in flight crew workload at low altitude, Airbus created an interesting article to help maintenance and flight ops to manage the risks.
- Latest news from CAE's Airside.aero: Our safety partners at CAE are continually posting excellent articles on Airside. The latest additions include an interesting article on "Mitigating the Top Safety Risks in the Cockpit: Loss of Control in Flight" and also a "Glossary of Terms for Human Performance Excellence". Both are well worth a read for flight crew and safety staff.
What does the Wellerman Sea Shanty have to do with safety?
The task of choosing the songs for the safety playlist each month is a tough job in the EASA Safety Promotion office. With such terrible things happening in Ukraine, hopefully music can give us some additional inspiration when times are tough. We all need some resilience when things are difficult and the "Wellerman Sea Shanty" tells of the challenges that a ship's crew face to achieve their task and get home safely to their families, a tough test that hopefully gives you some inspiration for the weeks ahead.
With the completion of the new Fuel Rules, the team searched high and low for a suitable song linked to the topic of fuel. Our best effort is the indie classic "Bonfire by the Hunna". Check out the full 2022 Playlist here.