Don’t keep it to yourself: safety reporting

air traffic controller at work

Aviation is a large and diverse industry. No matter what role you perform, you play an important part in the safety of the sector.

Through our day-to-day activities, we will hear or see things that may seem insignificant at the time. In fact, you could hold the piece of information that prevents a more serious incident from occurring. It is often easy to dismiss an occurrence as normal practice, especially when it appears to be without consequence. Seldom though do we realise the greater implications for the safety system overall. Even once identified, whom do you tell?

The Transport Safety Investigation Regulations are clear in identifying what must be reported. Airservices, ATSB and CASA have in place a reporting process to capture events that effect or compromise safety, which includes an extensive database of occurrences. The data is used to inform and promote many industry initiatives, such as education messaging, safety enhancements and policy direction. Confidentiality is a vital element in the effectiveness of these reporting schemes.

At Airservices we operate in a just culture environment for all our staff, including air traffic controllers. We acknowledge mistakes will be made and promote the reporting of any errors or actions that have the potential to degrade safety margins.

We are keen to identify issues and learn where our deficiencies are, to improve safety outcomes across the industry. Therefore, if you see or hear something that you feel was not quite right, do not hesitate to speak up and either alert the controllers or utilise any of the available reporting schemes.

We cannot fix what we don’t know. Your information could be vital in identifying or validating a larger problem, so that action can be taken to resolve it. For our industry and systems to achieve the levels of safety we expect, we are all in this together.


  1. Re: Don’t keep it to yourself: safety reporting
    Why are there no contact details provided to allow appropriate safety breach reporting? This would allow timely information provision.

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