2008 News Archive - Flights - CAA letter to Sunday Times in Response to Article Published 31 March 2002

09 04 2002

Letter which appears on CAA's website dated 3 April 2002:

From Mike Bell, Acting Group Director Safety Regulation

Your article 'Revealed: The Most Jinxed Jet in Britain' - 31 March 2002, takes a very simplistic approach to UK civil aviation safety.

Any judgement on the safety of an aircraft or airline based solely on the number of incident reports filed is flawed. Safety performance cannot be assessed without having each occurrence report reviewed and graded by experts, taking into account the number of hours flown by an aircraft.

Since its inception in 1976, the UK's occurrence reporting scheme has been recognised throughout the world as being one of the leading sources of safety data. Vital information from that data has led to significant safety improvements.

The UK industry’s willingness to register these reports with CAA reflects the existence of the strong safety culture that underpins the overall safety performance of the UK aviation community – a record that is one of the best in the world.

Those of us responsible for civil aviation safety in the UK hope that industry is in no way deterred by your article from filing reports as this would have extremely detrimental implications for the effectiveness of the occurrence reporting scheme, and potentially for aviation safety in the UK.

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