Safety Culture


What is Safety?

Within the context of aviation, the concept of safety is “the state in which the possibility of harm to persons or of property damage is reduced to, and maintained at or below, an acceptable level through a continuing process of hazard identification and safety risk management”.


What is Safety Culture?

Safety Culture is represented by the level of safety implementation within an organization, and it is characterized by the way it is valued and perceived. It is considered among the aviation professionals as the difference between a safe organisation and an accident waiting to happen. The elements behind safety culture concept take into account behaviors, justness, awareness, adaptability, information and commitment and as such allow a robust reporting of safety issues encouraging and rewarding operational personnel.

Why do we need Safety Culture

Management Commitment: Cornerstone of aviation safety culture


How can we improve Safety Culture?

Working together to increase Safety Culture awareness within our Community is vital to enhance the performance of each Organisation’s Safety Management System. For this, a continuous learning ethos is paramount, hence exchange of information through an effective reporting culture is needed. By encouraging reporting on accidents and incidents occurrences, appropriate and timely safety actions can be taken. This will enable organisations’ management and staff to:

  • Have the latest knowledge of all the factors that determine the safety of the system as a whole;
  • Apply appropriate quality and risk management processes as part of decision making;
  • Appraise new systems and procedures for any safety related issues;
  • Identify threats & hazards and managing those risks by conducting risks assessments before making any changes;


“Safety culture cannot be “mandated” or “designed”, it evolves” (IATA).


SMS Toolkit

A safety management system (SMS) is a systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures. (ICAO)


SMSs are an evolutionary development of the traditional flight safety program. The purpose of an SMS is the proactive management of safety-risks. The definition used in the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) of a safety management system is “the systematic and comprehensive process for the proactive management of safety-risks that integrates the management of operations and technical systems with financial and human resource management”.

In order to put in place a strong Safety Management System, data collection is vital, and may include accidents and incidents, events, non-conformance or deviations and hazard reports. The quality of the data that are used to enable effective decision making must be considered throughout SSP (State Safety Programs) and SMS development and implementation. Unfortunately, many databases lack the data quality necessary to provide a reliable basis for evaluating safety priorities and the effectiveness of risk mitigation measures. Data deficiencies will result in flawed analysis results that may lead to faulty decisions and discredit the safety management process. Given the importance of data quality, organizations must assess the data used to support safety risk management and safety assurance processes using the following criteria: 

a) Validity. Data collected are acceptable as per established criteria for their intended use.

b) Completeness. No relevant data are missing.

c) Consistency. The extent to which measurement of a given parameter is consistent can be reproduced and avoids error.

d) Accessibility. Data are readily available for analysis.

e) Timeliness. Data are relevant to the time period of interest and available promptly.

f) Security. Data are protected from inadvertent or malicious alteration.


g) Accuracy. Data are error-free.


A large number of safety databases have been developed independently by many different organizations with very specific areas of responsibility and analysis needs. In order to provide aviation safety analysts with expanded views of safety issues, it is necessary to build safety information integration facilities that can extract information from multiple sources, apply common data standards, consolidate metadata and load the information onto a common platform housed in centralized data storage architecture.

Through the use of Safety Management Systems (SMS), business aircraft operators can proactively identify and manage risks. Under a formalized SMS, operators identify potential hazards and ensure that a process is put in place to effectively manage them.

Want to learn more? Order now the IS-BAO Safety Management Toolkit at



E-SORS core system, ECCAIRS, represents the data repository system for the collection, integration and dissemination of accidents and incidents in the business aviation sector. It helps Business Aviation Operators to implement a common taxonomy for safety data gathering, exchange and analysis. EBAA is operating E-SORS under the license received from the European Commission in order to allow business aviation stakeholders to share anonymous safety data in a user-friendly and secure way, providing analysis at individual and sector level, to the benefit of all users.

Among other purposes, the analysis may be used to assist in deciding what additional facts are needed to ascertain latent factors underlying safety deficiencies assist in reaching valid conclusions and monitor and measure safety trends or performance.

As E-SORS core operating system, ECCAIRS, enables Business Aviation professionals to understand the current legislation’s requirements and to comply with the occurrence reporting way in place, facilitating the operators’ need to submit their occurrence reporting to EASA.

Therefore, teamwork is key!  The platform is free to use by anyone being granted access, with the emphasis that everyone should contribute to its content development by feeding information into the system.

The system includes a user-friendly interface for data entry and query, reducing the workload for managers and safety personnel and has the capability to transform large amounts of safety data into useful information that can support decision making. 

The ECCAIRS system categorize aircraft accidents and incidents occurrences using the ICAO ADREP Occurrence category taxonomy, allowing safety trends analysis on all categories. The terms of this taxonomy are grouped into primary and secondary terms. Every occurrence should have attached a single primary occurrence category but may be attached in addition multiple secondary terms. For accidents, the primary term can be considered as the end state in comparison with the IATA taxonomy


Primary (15)




Abnormal runway contact






Controlled flight into or toward terrain



Collision with obstacle(s) during take-off and landing



Fire/smoke (non-impact)



Ground Collision



Loss of control - inflight



Airprox/ ACAS alert/ loss of separation/ (near) midair collisions



Ground Handling



Runway excursion



Runway - wildlife presence



Runway incursion - vehicle, aircraft or person



System/component failure or malfunction [non-powerplant]



Powerplant failure or malfunction






 Secondary (18)




Loss of control - ground



Turbulence encounter



Fuel related






Low altitude operations



Fire/smoke (post-impact)



Windshear or thunderstorm









Security related



Cabin safety events



Abrupt manoeuvre



Loss of lifting conditions en-route



Unintended flight in IMC



Glider towing related events



External load related occurrences



Unknown or undetermined


E-SORS has been launched
Safety Newsletters
Regulation (EU) No 376/2014
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Regulation (EU) 1018 / 2015
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