Occurrence on 18 January 2020 and updates to procedure for publishing occurrence reports

Published on

The investigation into the occurrence of 18 January 2020 was published today on the website of Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL). The files of various other occurrences were also updated. LVNL has updated and added more transparency to its procedure for retransmissions of radiotelephony or RTF (radio communications between pilots and air traffic controllers). If RTF is used in the media, no request to discontinue retransmission will be sent to the media.

Safety investigations are very important to learn from and to make the operational process even safer. In the Netherlands, laws and regulations are an important factor in this context, but not the only factor. It is very important that we maintain an open reporting culture at LVNL. We will continue our commitment to this goal. LVNL is therefore exploring possibilities for making arrangements with companies that offer access to all RTF recordings via online archives, with the aim of safeguarding access to RTF recordings that were made during occurrences, in the interest of the investigation.


Importance of safety investigations
Since thorough and meticulous safety investigation is top priority, LVNL wants to prevent public access to the legally protected RTF recordings of an occurrence. This is vitally important in order to maintain an open reporting culture in the organisation. We maintain this reporting culture by making data accessible to a very limited extent within the organisation and ensuring that data can externally never be traced back to individual persons (e.g. voice data and personal data). In this way, we create an environment in which air traffic controllers have maximum confidence to continue reporting occurrences, including those in which they themselves are involved, and to continue improving safety.


Publication of occurrences

Since 2014, LVNL has been reporting occurrences proactively and transparently on its website. Within five working days after an occurrence, we publish a report; after careful investigation, we supplement the report by adding the conclusions of the investigation. In this way, everyone can see which occurrences have taken place, how they occurred, and what measures are being taken to prevent such occurrences in the future. In addition to the investigation of the occurrence on 18 January 2020, the case files for 22 November 2018 (conclusion only), 9 October 2019, 1 December 2019, and 24 December 2019 (Schiphol and Rotterdam) have also been updated. The investigations into the occurrences of 2 July and 6 September 2019 are in their final phase and will be published at a later date. Since February 2020, LVNL actively announces when an occurrence report or investigation results are published, both via Twitter and in a news item on the website.