Today, Wednesday 26 February 2014, the European Parliament adopted the compromise text agreed by the Commission, the Council and the Parliament on the new European occurrence reporting Regulation. The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), which represents air traffic controllers (ATCOs), pilots and all other categories of civil aviation employees, supports the outcome of the vote. The Regulation is indeed a positive step forward in the creation of a just culture and will drive safety improvement throughout aviation in Europe.

The ETF is satisfied that the compromise text meets ETF’s demand to have a clearer approach towards the concept of Just Culture. With the removal of the vague terminology of Gross Negligence from the Just Culture definition, as requested by the ETF, the ETF marks an important step towards a safer aviation sector.

“This concept of ‘Gross negligence’ has different interpretations in many Member States. The new Regulation removes the grey area that existed and defines in a better way what is acceptable and what is not. This is a real progress in Safety.” says Riccardo Rubini, Chair of the ETF Air Traffic Management Committee.

The employee, who spontaneously reports any failure in the system or unintentional errors, will not be persecuted anymore. Except in case of wilful misconduct or when there has been “a manifest, severe and serious disregard with respect to an obvious risk and profound failure of professional responsibility to take such care as is evidently required in the circumstances, causing foreseeable damage to a person or property, or seriously compromises the level of aviation safety”. It is a ruling that receives the full support of the ETF and its affiliates.

“We also welcome the mandatory consultation of staff representatives when adopting internal rules describing how Just Culture principles are guaranteed and implemented in the organisation. The designation of a body responsible for the implementation of Just Culture principles to which employees may report alleged infringements of these rules without any penalisation is also very positive” says Enrique Carmona, President of the ETF Civil Aviation Section.

“A fundamental element is the protection of the operator by not disclosing his/her name, which will facilitate the reporting. Frontline ATCOs, pilots or other employees should not be punished for actions, omissions or decisions taken by them. Only wilful violations and destructive acts cannot be tolerated. The ETF thanks all the EU Institutions for having understood that this new step towards a non-punitive occurrence reporting scheme will improve the safety of the passengers.” saysFrançois Ballestero, ETF Political Secretary.

ETF Press Release - ETF welcomes the new non-punitive occurrence reporting system