Australia’s aviation industry has a world-leading safety reporting culture. This is the result of many pilots and flight crew openly reporting incidents and accidents to the ATSB – sharing knowledge and information for the continual improvement of aviation safety.

All accidents and incidents are reportable to the ATSB under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. The ATSB receives on average around 17,000 aviation occurrence reports every year from pilots and flight crew. Information provided with these occurrences are recorded in a database, and are used for the sole purpose of improving aviation safety.

When lodging an accident or incident notification, the pilot or flight crew involved may have their Aviation Reference Number (ARN) recorded in the occurrence information retained by the ATSB. In the absence of further analysis of the occurrence, retaining information about an individual present at the time of an occurrence does not mean they contributed to the occurrence happening. In contrast, having identifying information in relation to multiple occurrences can be indicative of an individual who is safety orientated and willing to report.

It is important to note the ATSB does not investigate for the purpose of taking administrative, regulatory or criminal action. It it is not a function of the ATSB to apportion blame or provide a means for determining liability.

Requesting an Aviation Incident Reporting Summary

To receive an Aviation Incident Reporting Summary covering information referencing you in an occurrence, an ARN holder must submit a completed Aviation Incident Reporting Summary Request form. The form must be submitted by the individual to whom the information relates and it must be accompanied by a certified true copy of the applicant's licence. The copy must be certified by a person prescribed under the Statutory Declarations Regulations 1993 and be annotated as follows: I certify this to be a true copy of the original sighted by me.

The certification must include the name and signature of the person certifying the copy, together with the prescribed capacity, under the Statutory Declarations Regulations 1993, in which they are doing so.

A request for an Aviation Incident Reporting Summary will normally be actioned within five working days from the date the application is received by the ATSB.

Requests for an Aviation Incident Reporting Summary will not be accepted from parties other than the identified flight crew licence ARN holder. Similarly, the result of the check will only be provided directly to the applicant.

Submit an online Aviation Incident Reporting Summary request form.

Limitations on use

The ATSB considers the use of the information provided in an Aviation Incident Reporting Summary inappropriate for all purposes other than the improvement of aviation safety.

The ATSB strongly advises against the use of an Aviation Incident Reporting Summary for employment selection purposes, as the involvement, or a lack of involvement, in safety occurrences does not truly qualify an individual’s airmanship. 

If applying for a position overseas and the organisation wants a letter of verification of your flight crew licence, as the issuer of your licenceCASA can issue a Flight Crew Licence (FCL) Verification Letter.

Legal limitations

In accordance with the applicant's rights under the Privacy Act 1988, the ATSB will take all reasonable steps to assist with requests for an Aviation Incident Reporting Summary. The Commonwealth of Australia, and the ATSB, do not accept any liability if a person is inaccurately identified or the information contains other errors of fact or interpretation.

Request an Aviation Incident Reporting Summary

Submit an online Aviation Incident Reporting Summary request form.

Once submitted, please allow a minimum of five (5) working days for your AIRS to be emailed to you.