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Aviation safety: Occurrence reporting in civil aviation

This summary has been archived and will not be updated. See 'Occurrences in civil aviation — reporting, analysis and follow-up' for an updated information about the subject.

Aviation safety: Occurrence reporting in civil aviation

This directive sets out to improve aviation safety by ensuring that safety-critical information is reported, collected, stored, protected and disseminated in order to facilitate its effective analysis and follow-up, with a view to preventing future accidents and incidents.




of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2003 on occurrence reporting in civil aviation [

See amending act



The accident rate in civil aviation has remained fairly constant over the last ten years. However, the increase in air traffic could lead to an increase in the number of accidents in the near future. To enhance the safety of civil aviation, better knowledge of occurrences is required in order to facilitate analysis and prevent accidents.

The directive covers occurrences (accidents, incidents and serious incidents) that endanger or which, if not corrected, would endanger an aircraft, its occupants or any other person.

Occurrence reports must be collected, evaluated, processed and stored in a database. European Union (EU) countries must entrust this task to a competent authority, which may be the national civil aviation authority, the investigating body established under Directive 94/56/EC or any other independent body or entity entrusted with this function.

EU countries must participate in a mutual exchange of information by making all the information stored in their databases available to the competent authorities of the other and the Commission. To facilitate this exchange, the Commission must provide them with software enabling them to establish the appropriate interconnections.

Information gathered from mandatory reporting will be disseminated with a view to improving safety. It may therefore be consulted by each national civil aviation authority and by civil aviation accident investigation entities. Other interested parties may also receive information for their own use, information which may be restricted to what is strictly necessary. The public, too, will be informed of the level of aviation safety by the publication of an annual safety review and, if necessary, by extracts from disidentified reports (from which all personal details concerning the reporter and the technical aspects have been removed).

The information exchanged and disseminated is confidential and may be used solely for the purpose of the activities of participants and addressees. Reporters and the information they supply are protected in order to guarantee free and confident reporting.

In addition to the system of mandatory reporting, EU countries may put in place a system of voluntary reporting to collect and analyse information on observed deficiencies in aviation which do not have to be reported under the system of mandatory reporting, but which are perceived by the reporter as an actual or potential hazard.

The Commission is assisted in the implementation of the directive by the committee set up by Article 12 of Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 on the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviation.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2003/42/EC



OJ L 167 of 4.7.2003

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 596/2009



OJ L 188 of 18.7.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive No 2003/42/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.


Commission Regulation (EC) No 1321/2007 of 12 November 2007 laying down implementing rules for the integration into a central repository of information on civil aviation occurrences exchanged in accordance with Directive 2003/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. The most efficient way of exchanging information on civil aviation safety is to create a central repository fed by national databases and accessible to all EU countries. The regulation lays down measures for creating the repository and determines which entities should be given right of access to it.

Last updated: 07.07.2011