Trends in immediately reportable matters involving regular public transport operations


The reporting of aviation safety occurrences enables the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to investigate accidents and serious incidents and monitor safety through the analysis of any trends. On 1 July 2003 the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 came into effect, introducing the terms immediately reportable and routine reportable matters (IRMs and RRMs, respectively).

This report examines trends in IRMs that involved regular public transport operations and provides a context for interpreting any changes over time. The aim is to inform the aviation community of any important safety trends, and to provide the travelling public with a better appreciation of the types of occurrences that are reported to the ATSB.

The study found that high capacity regular public transport operations dominated air transport activity, and consequently dominated the reports of IRM occurrences. Furthermore, activity for high capacity air transport operations, measured by flying hours and movements, increased over the period studied.

The IRM categories examined were either stable or trended downwards between mid 2001 and mid 2006. Violations of controlled airspace reduced over the period while occurrences involving a fire, explosion or fumes and crew injuries or incapacitation also decreased, but only marginally. Other IRM categories such as contained engine failures and fuel exhaustion events were rare, or absent. The exception was breakdowns of separation (BOS) and airprox events, where occurrence numbers went up. However, the rate did not increase relative to the number of movements, suggesting that the increase was largely linked to increased activity.

This review highlighted the consistent reporting culture of the air transport sector and the air traffic service provider, and provided encouraging data concerning the general state of safety in regular public transport operations

Type: Research and Analysis Report
Author(s): ATSB
Publication date: 20 December 2007
Last update 07 April 2014
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