Hosted by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), the 147th meeting of the Air Forces Flight Safety Committee (Europe) (AFFSC(E)) took place in Ottawa from June 23 to 28, 2019.
The conference offered RCAF Director of Flight Safety, Colonel John Alexander, an opportunity to highlight the historically low number of flight safety incidents in which Canadian military aircraft have been involved. Over the course of the last 50 years, the accident occurrence rate per 10 000 hours of flying has decreased from 0.510 to 0.081.
Fewer flight safety incidents are the result of the RCAF’s open reporting culture to reporting and non-attribution of blame when investigating incidents, as well as an Airworthiness Program that guides a better risk assessment for operational planning.
RCAF membership on the AFFSC(E) allows for the rapid exchange of information pertinent to: on-going investigations abroad, changes in national aviation regulations, and new initiatives in flight safety.
“Canada has benefitted greatly from its participation on the Air Forces Flight Safety Committee (Europe), applying the lessons learned by other militaries to improve our own flight safety program. Our historical low number of incidents gives me confidence in our robust airworthiness, maintenance, and safety programs, ensuring the safety of our personnel.”
– Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, Commander Royal Canadian Air Force
“The most cost effective lessons that you can learn are those from someone else’s incidents or accidents and flight safety is an area that you never stop learning. The Air Forces Flight Safety Committee (Europe) conference is an excellent opportunity to share experiences and exchange ideas. This year’s theme of risk management from theory to practice demonstrates our commitment to maximising effectiveness without compromising safety.”
– Group Captain Tom Lyons, Royal Air Force and Chair of the Air Forces Flight Safety Committee (Europe)
The AFFSC(E) was formed shortly after the Second World War and consists of representatives of the flight safety staffs of NATO and European Air Forces.
The post of Chairman is currently held by the United Kingdom and is occupied by the Inspector of Flight Safety for the Royal Air Force.
The current members of the AFFSC(E) are Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Ukraine and the United States of America.
RCAF membership on joint and Allied committees from Europe and South America, as well as NATO, promotes the free exchange of lessons learned from our partners in flight safety and increased awareness of preventative measures for the safety our own forces.
Directorate of Flight Safety (DFS) has a mandate to champion a pro-active and innovative Flight Safety Program to enhance combat-effectiveness through the prevention of the accidental loss of aerospace resources.
DFS fosters the safe execution of operations through independent investigations, active participation in the airworthiness program and leadership in the Flight Safety Program.