Guidance on the Sharing of Safety Significant Information with EASA
Key Points: ARA.GEN.125 of the Authority Requirements and equivalent requirements in the domain of ATCO licencing, ATM/ANS and Aerodromes requires that competent authorities shall provide EASA with Safety Significant Information stemming from the occurrence reports received under Regulation (EU) 376/2014.
What is Safety Significant Information? Safety-significant information stemming from occurrence reports means a high-risk or potential high consequence safety issue that might be relevant for EASA’s safety action planning (such as EPAS) or that might require more immediate actions by EASA as Competent Authority. Such a safety issue might come from two main sources:
- Case 1: A safety analysis of occurrence data (a group of occurrences) that identifies an important or high-risk safety issue, an example is provided below; or
- Case 2: Information from an individual occurrence for cases where the Agency is the competent authority (E.g. such as for aircraft and products), again an example is below.
Why is this important? It is important that Safety Significant Information is shared with EASA to ensure that immediate actions can be identified where needed and others can be made aware of the situation.
Authority Coordinator for Safety Significant Information
Each competent authority should appoint a coordinator to act as the contact point for the exchange of Safety Significant Information between the competent authority and the Agency.
What to Include in an Analysis of a Safety Significant Information
When providing information to EASA about a Safety Significant Issues, this should include the following:
- A detailed description of the safety issue, including the scenario in which the safety issue has been identified.
- Information about the domains/ stakeholders affected by the safety issue, including types of operations and organisations.
Additionally, if possible the following should also be included:
- A risk assessment establishing the severity and probability of all the possible consequences of the safety issue (more information on risk assessment for authorities will be provided in further Safety Promotion material).
- Information about the existing safety barriers that are in place to prevent an accident occurring involving the safety issue.
- Information about any mitigating actions already in place or developed to deal with the safety issue.
- Information about any failing or weak barriers in the system and recommendations for future actions to control the risk.
- Any other information the competent authority considers essential for the Agency to properly assess the safety issue.
Case 1 – Safety Significant Information from an Analysis
This first situation covers an important or high-risk safety issue identified following a safety analysis of occurrence data (a group of occurrences).
Such a situation is especially relevant where a competent authority has identified a safety issue of concern that has been assessed as being high risk. In this case, first check if the issue is already captured in the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS) and if suitable mitigations are already in place. If not, then provide more information to EASA as described. Two examples are provided below:
- Example – Safety Issue: Analysis of occurrences for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) highlights a number of high risk occurrences during landing in enclosed spaces.
- Example – Location Specific: Airlines have reported a small number of high risk occurrences during airport works at an airport outside Europe.
Case 2 - Occurrences Where the Agency is the Competent Authority
If a Member State competent authority receives an occurrence where the organisation responsible for addressing the occurrence is certified by EASA and not the relevant Member State (i.e. a design organisation, a production approval holder or a Third Country Part 145 organisation or ATO – not an exhaustive list) they should inform EASA using the process for reporting Safety Significant Information.
This reporting to EASA is needed in situations where the Member State competent authority has come to the conclusion that either the organisation certified by the Agency to which the occurrence relates has not been informed of the occurrence or that the occurrence has not been properly addressed by that organisation certified by the Agency. As a best practice the Member State competent authority should also check if the reporter has reported to the other organisations or authorities according to R1139/2018 and its Implementing Regulation.