European pilots joined aviation stakeholders, today, in signing the ‘European Corporate Just Culture Declaration’ at a High-Level Conference on ‘Saving lives with safety information’, in Brussels. The Declaration is a commitment from wide parts of the sector to cooperate at company level to encourage pilots and other safety professionals to report safety occurrences without fear of reprisals. The Declaration comes in the context of the new EU Occurrence Reporting Regulation (ORR 376-2014), which will apply across Europe on 15 Nov., marking an important milestone for Europe’s aviation safety system.
Speaking at the official signing ceremony, ECA President Capt. Dirk Polloczek said: “Behind this signature stands the European pilots’ firm commitment to work with other stakeholder to improve the reporting of occurrences at company level. Such reporting, however, will only be encouraged if it takes place in a Just Culture environment, based on mutual trust. We therefore fully support the key principles outlined in the Declaration and are confident that it will be a strong basis for aviation professionals and their management to make Just Culture a reality in each and every organisation in Europe.”
“To the public at large, the history of air accidents is mostly a history of disasters”, says Paul Reuter, ECA Technical Director. “But we, professional pilots, know that there are many safety occurrences which had no catastrophic consequences but should serve as a learning platform for all of us. An error, slip or lapse could happen as often as every 30 minutes. Knowing what and why it happened can help us prevent it in the future. This is why we must ensure the continued flow of occurrence information, the 'lifeblood' of our aviation safety system.”
But procedures and legislation alone will do little to create an environment of trust, one where safety professionals report possible errors without fear of reprisal or blame. A Just Culture environment is therefore essential to make the new Occurrence Reporting Regulation work in practice.
“At its core, Just Culture is pretty simple: people make ‘honest errors’ and punishing them for this will make them stop reporting such errors. We will therefore continue to actively honour our commitment made today and do all we can to pave the way for a more open and transparent system, with a clear, documented and easy-to-understand ‘Just Culture’ that is lived and ‘breathed’ at all levels of an organisation,” said Dirk Polloczek.