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Air Safety

Volume 401: debated on Wednesday 19 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what measures the Safety Regulation Group takes to ensure that (a) flight crew and (b) air traffic controllers are not subject to harassment after submitting safety related reports (i) within and (ii) outside the Mandatory Occurrence Reporting Scheme; [103571](2) what measures the Safety Regulation Group has taken to ensure that

(a) flight crew and (b) air traffic controllers are able to comply with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998;[103574]

(3) how many times the Safety Regulation Group has revoked an air traffic controller's licence having received (a) an Overload Report and (b) a mandatory occurrence report;[103573]

(4) what steps the Safety Regulation Group takes to verify the (a) accuracy and (b) objectivity of the air traffic controller (i) Overload Report and (ii) mandatory occurrence reports.[103570]

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is included in the Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 1999 in respect of

"compliance with the requirements of civil aviation legislation, including aviation safety".
The CAA's Secretary and Legal Adviser is the first point of contact for those who wish to make a qualifying disclosure to CAA. Contact details are given in the Department of Trade and Industry Guide to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.Any reports received by the CAA under the Mandatory Occurrence Reporting Scheme are distributed only to a Department with a direct interest in the content of that report and the anonymity of the author will be retained throughout. Any individual who considers that they have been harassed as a result of submitting a report to the CAA may make a complaint to the CAA.Reports submitted outside the Mandatory Occurrence Scheme include those submitted by flight crew to the UK Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP). This programme provides a confidential reporting system for all individuals employed in or associated with the industries. In addition, the CAA meets annually with representatives of the British Airline Pilots Association where pilots' concerns may be raised in complete confidentiality and anonymity. And Air Traffic Controllers may, if they wish, file confidential reports directly to SRG.The CAA is aware that an Overload or Mandatory Occurrence Report submitted by a controller may be written subjectively. Therefore, CAA requires that each Air Traffic Control Unit has a process in place which undertakes local investigations of such reports to verify their accuracy and objectivity.The CAA has not revoked any Air Traffic Controller's Licence as a result of receiving an Overload or Mandatory Occurrence Report.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many unannounced inspections the Safety Regulation Group has carried out on civil air traffic control units within the last 30 months. [103572]

The Safety Regulation Group has not carried out any unannounced inspections of civil air traffic control units within the last 30 months.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether all the senior managers at the Safety Regulation Group have attained relevant qualifications required for their civil role and responsibilities; [103685](2) how many senior managers have been employed by the Safety Regulation Group over the last 30 months who had

(a) a solely civil aviation background and (b) a solely military aviation background;[103686]

(3) how many senior managers are employed by the Safety Regulation Group; and how many of these senior managers have (a) a civil aviation background and (b) a military aviation background. [103684]

The Safety Regulation Group employs 43 senior managers. Of these:

28 have a civil aviation background
7 have a military aviation background
8 have both a civil and a military background
No senior managers have been recruited to the Safety Regulation Group from external sources over the last 30 months.All senior managers at the Safety Regulation Group are selected and appointed on the basis of objective judgment as to their suitability for the role, with regard to qualifications, experience, knowledge and competence.