Second semester 2020


    Adoption of the revision of the PESO

    The Council of Ministers approved on December 15, at the initiative of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the modification of the State Operational Safety Programme (PESO) for Civil Aviation, with the aim of strengthening aviation safety by strengthening collaboration between all the agencies involved and the consolidation of the Security Policy and the objectives in which it is developed.

    The PESO facilitates decision-making in the field of aviation safety, through continuous analysis of the information provided to a management system composed of key aviation actors; and it offers a joint vision of the entire Spanish civil aviation sector that will enable the identification and assessment of safety risks, and decisions to keep them under control.

    In short, the PESO network connects all actors in the civil aviation system, taking advantage of synergies between them.

    The approved Agreement amends the above objectives to adapt them to the maturity of the Programme and includes the possibility of temporarily linking other public bodies relevant to the control of safety risk in some priority areas; it updates the applicable regulations and maintains the designation of the Secretariat of State for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda as the body responsible for its impetus. 

    In addition, it extends the maximum review period of the Programme to five years and establishes a 5-year period for the Action Plan, which will be reviewed annually.

    It also changes the wording of the policy for better understanding by citizens, articulating it under six concepts: maximum commitment of linked public bodies and bodies, improvements in the allocation of resources, a necessary and up-to-date regulatory basis, including safety management principles, improved monitoring of applicable requirements and collaboration of both public and private organisations linked to the Programme and international.

    Publication of the Royal Decree supplementing the regime applicable to occurrence reporting

    The Official State Gazette has published the Royal Decree supplementing the regime applicable to the reporting of civil aviation occurrences, established in Regulation (EU) No 376/2014, which updates the regulatory framework.

    This is a Royal Decree of an eminently technical nature, which specifies the competence and functions of the State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) in the management of occurrence reporting systems, as well as for the collection, storage, protection, exchange, dissemination and analysis of information on civil aviation events.

    Furthermore, the Royal Decree abolishes the Commission for the Study and Analysis of Notifications of Air Transit Incidents (CEANITA), while its regime is difficult to reconcile with the Community Regulation, replacing it with a working group that, in addition to integrating the organisations present in CEANITA, incorporates experts from other sectors to collaborate with EASA, inter alia, in the analysis of the most significant trends and particularly relevant events or groups of events, without prejudice to the Agency being able to establish other mechanisms for cooperation with the sector.

    It also entrusts the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation (DGAC) with monitoring the protection of information provided in the context of occurrence reporting, ensuring that the principles of the so-called fair culture are applied.

    This Royal Decree also extends the occurrence reporting regime laid down in the European Regulation to fire-fighting and search and rescue operations, whether carried out by manned or unmanned aircraft, but the latter will only be required to report occurrences in the case of certified aircraft or the occurrences seriously affect persons or involve manned aircraft.

    The inclusion in this Royal Decree of these obligations determines the elimination of the occurrence reporting obligations laid down in Royal Decree 750/2014 of 5 September 2014 regulating air firefighting and search and rescue activities and laying down airworthiness and licensing requirements for other aeronautical activities.

    The obligations to report occurrences in Royal Decree 1036/2017 of 15 December 2017 regulating the civil use of remotely piloted aircraft are also eliminated, since they are already covered by the European Regulation or by this Royal Decree.

    The drafting of this Royal Decree has involved the various bodies of the Administration, as well as the sector.

    Information circular on 5G telephony interference with radio altimeters

    On 7 October 2020 it was published by the Radio Technical Committee for Aeronautics (RTCA hereafter) the document “Assessment of C-Band Mobile Telecommunications Interference Impact on Low Range Radar Altimeter Operations” (RTCA Paper No. 274-20/PMC-2073).

    In this document the RTCA concluded that interference could occur between mobile telephony equipment of the 5G bands assigned in the US. U.S.A. (both by stations and devices inside the aircraft) with radio altimeters equipped on civil aircraft. Radio altimeters are critical sensors used to provide or improve various navigation and safety functions in civil aircraft. These functions include, but are not limited to, the Terrain Awareness Warning Systems (TAWS), Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) y Airborne Collision Avoidance Systems (ACAS), shear detection systems, flight control and automatic landing systems.

    These possible conditions have also been presented as a safety spot at European level and are being studied by European actors from both industry and authorities.

    Although AESA has not so far been aware of any incident or incident related to this problem, in application of the precautionary principle and in line with future actions at European level, EASA has considered it advisable to take preventive action to inform and raise awareness of this potential problem in order, where appropriate, to be able to carry out an adequate early detection, assessment and monitoring. For this reason, the Information Circular INFS-2020/001 has been published:

    Publication of the 2019 AESA Safety Assessment Report

    AESA has published the previous year’s Safety Assessment Report, 2019.

    The Safety Assessment Report is one of the tools for promoting and disseminating information related to the safety of civil aviation of AESA.

    In addition to this instrument, AESA continues to publish on its website, within the framework of the State Operational Safety Programme (PESO), newsletters of information, guidance material, recommendations, directives, triptychs and reports related to the activity carried out by different units of the Agency.

    The promotion is one of the four components of the State Operational Safety Program, along with the state safety policy, objectives and resources, state risk management and state safety assurance.

    The 2019 security memory can be found at the following link:

    CIAIAC publishes its annual report 2019

    The Commission for the Investigation of Accidents and Incidents of Civil Aviation (CIAIAC) has presented its tenth annual report to the Ministry of Public Works and to the competent committees of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate, thus complying with the various applicable regulations, which make it compulsory to draw up a full report on the activities carried out by the Commission.

    The report includes accident statistics and reflects the research activities as well as other activities carried out by CIAIAC during 2019:

    Online Day for Fire Fighting and Search and Rescue Operators

    On 17 December, the State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) organised an online day of firefighting and search and rescue operators with the aim of analysing the safety of these operations from different approaches, expanding discussion tables for future prospects.

    The conference, intended for all operators, industry, associations and professionals working in this field, addressed, among other topics, the safety of firefighting and search and rescue operations - events and analysis thereof - as well as major changes to the draft amendment of Royal Decree 750/2014.

    In addition, the 2020 fire-fighting campaign, audits, inspections and main non-compliances detected were also analysed, with the aim of achieving improvements for the next campaign.

    Two round tables were also held, the first on “the future challenges of firefighting: night operation” and the second on “the future challenges in search and rescue operations: new demands of the sector - night operation and use of baricentric hook - and incorporation of drones for search and rescue”.

    Informative webinar for Commercial Air Transport Operators

    On 26 November, the State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) organised the Webinar Commercial Air Transport Operators, with the aim of addressing the most relevant regulatory changes of 2021.

    The aim of this conference was to disseminate and facilitate to operators Reg.2018/1042, as amended by Reg. 2020/745 of 14 February 2021 on controls for alcohol and psychoactive substances, as well as on the pilot support programme. This regulatory change resulting from the Germanwing accident will enter into force on 14 February 2021.

    The adaptation to the regulatory changes already in force of Regulation EU 2019/1384 related to maintenance flights and non-commercial and specialised operations that can be performed by aircraft of a certified operator for commercial air transport (AOC) was also addressed. In addition, it was also intended to explain and resolve the concerns of operators about the new lease model and the procedure for registering organisations.

    Publication of the “Global Reporting Format” triptych

    The State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) has produced a triptych on the “Global Reporting Format (GRF)” which will enter into force on 12 August 2021, the aim is to familiarise stakeholders with this new methodology for assessing and reporting runway surface conditions.

    The International Civil Aviation Organisation (OACI) has developed a new methodology, adopted by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), for the assessment and reporting of runway surface conditions, known as the “Global Reporting Format” (GRF), which aims to:

    • Standardise the assessment of runway conditions
    • Use of a common language
    • Facilitate the calculation of aircraft performance
    • Global implementation

    Assessment and reporting of runway surface condition is essential to provide flight crew with the information necessary for the safe operation of aircraft. The “Standard Track Status Report (RCR)” is used to report the evaluated information.

    The philosophy of the GRF is that the aerodrome operator evaluates the condition of the surface of a runway when there is presence of water, snow, melting snow, ice or frost on a running runway.

    Based on this assessment, a “runway status key (RWYCC)” and a description of the runway surface are reported, information that the flight crew can use to calculate the performance of the aircraft.

    This format, based on the type, thickness and coverage of pollutants, is the best assessment that the aerodrome operator can make of the runway surface condition; however, all other relevant information shall be taken into account and kept up to date, and changes in the condition of the runway shall be notified without delay.

    This information shall be fed back by the pilots through the aero-notifications (AIREP) with which the aerodrome operator will re-evaluate the RWYCC.

    The AESA triptych containing the main novelties and measures to be taken into account by the pilots can be found here:íptico-aesa-global-reporting-format.pdf

    I Telematics Disclosures on European drone regulations

    The State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) held on 27 October and on 3 and 4 November the first free training days on the new European drone regulations for users in general, operators and security forces, with the aim of improving safety and publicising the new standard that entered into force on 31 December 2020.

    Drones are unmanned aircraft, therefore they must be used with appropriate training and respecting safety measures. Their misuse may pose a risk, in addition to other aircraft, persons and land-based property, to national security, data protection and privacy of individuals.

    Published guidance material for the implementation of the RD for fire-fighting and rescue activities

    LThe State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) published in July the Acceptable Means of Compliance and the Guide Material for the implementation of Royal Decree 750/2014 of 5 September 2014 regulating the aerial activities of Fire Fighting and Search and Rescue and establishing airworthiness and licensing requirements for other aeronautical activities.

    This Resolution of the Director of AESA repeals the resolutions of 17 December 2014, February 2015, 6 March 2015 and 25 May 2015.

    This update responds to the recommendations of the Commission for the Investigation of Civil Aviation Accidents and Incidents (CIAIAC):

    • Rec. 29/17 and Rec. 30/17, specifying that operators must conduct theoretical and practical training of the LTE phenomenon and reflect it in the Operations Manual; and
    • Rec. 45/13, requiring AT802 amphibious aircraft operators to take into account the reduced cabin space when selecting life jackets, in order to prevent inflating ropes from being automatically hooked and inflated.

    In addition, the content has been updated according to the Easy Access Rules for Air Operations de EASA, October 2019.

    Participation in key international safety management forums

    During this semester, Spain has continued to participate in the main safety forums. As stated in the newsletter of the first semester, the COVID-19 crisis not only has not stopped the activity of the different working groups, but has increased by including in the agendas of the meetings different points to share best practices, recommendations and measures aimed at mitigating the impact on the sector.

    In this second semester, among others:

    • The OACI Panel working groups dedicated to Annex 19 Operational Safety Management have continued to meet telematically.
    • EASA SM-TEB (Safety Management-Technical Body) group met telematically on 24 September and 10 November.
    • Both the Management Committee, the Technical Committee and the Working Group of Authorities of the European project D4S (Data4Safety) have also met this semester.
    • The Network of European Analysts (NoA) and its sub-working groups have held continuous meetings during this period.
    • The SM ICG (Safety Management International Collaboration Group) group has held telematic meetings during this period.
    • EASA held the first meeting of “Heads of Safety Intelligence” of Member States in December.
    • The EAPAIRR (European Action Plan Airspace Infringement Risk Reduction) working group has continued to work online.
    • AESA attended the Fair Culture Workshop organised by APROCTA, where the judicial and aviation worlds interact, focusing this year on ethics (Ethics and Safety).
    • AESA attended the EUROCONTROL Webinar, "Just Culture & Judiciary. Just Culture across industries: Continuing to learn from each other”.

    Working Group Airspace Infringements Committed by VFR

    AESA has set up an internal working group to address an issue already identified by the Agency: Airspace infringements caused by VFR flights. It is an issue identified not only at national level but also at European level and on which actions have been proposed in the various editions of the EPAS and the PASO. The group is working to identify the state of implementation of these actions in addition to those set out in the European Action Plan for Airspace Infringements Risk Reduction (EAPAIRR) as well as to define possible additional actions that will lead to an improvement in the reduction of this type of airspace infringement.

    Measures taken related to the COVID-19 crisis

    The newsletter for the first half of the year included a piece of news containing the measures taken by the various agencies with the aim of helping the air sector to alleviate the difficult situation we are experiencing. During the second half of the year, various actions have been carried out, which can be found on the website of the various organisations:

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