Reporting – why it’s important

Sally Scott, CFI (Chief Flying Instructor) at North Queensland Aero Club (NQAC) preparing for take off in a Cessna 172N.
Sally Scott, chief flying instructor at North Queensland Aero Club, preparing for take-off in a Cessna 172N.

Most aviators know why it’s important to report the big things, but what about those smaller issues?

These are the  ones that could lead to larger issues if left unreported, such as radio congestion or difficulty accessing controlled airspace – they are just as important to report.

But how does reporting lead to change? Our Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) uses a combination of industry, Airservices and Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) reports to determine when they need to conduct an airspace review.

OAR Manager Martin Holberton says it is important that information is coming from all corners of aviation.

‘Any problem that you experience during your flight, even something as simple as radio issues, should be reported,’ he says.

‘The OAR regularly reviews the incident reports that have been submitted. We analyse the reports from a particular area which helps us to understand what’s going on. We will then conduct an airspace review and consult with local operators to determine changes to make that area easier and safer to fly in.’

The ATSB’s Aviation accident or incident notification form can be used by pilots to report any issues they may encounter.

‘You can report anything in a matter of minutes – it’s really quite simple and helps us to get accurate data about airspace issues across the country,’ Martin says.

It’s important to realise that this type of reporting won’t get you into trouble.

‘Making a report is a way of protecting and enhancing aviation safety,’ Martin says. ‘We all make mistakes and it’s important to share those, so we can take action to make aviation safer.’


  1. This process works ONLY when there is not only someone reading and filing any reports BUT actually acting upon them. Trust in the effectiveness of a system is based upon not what it claims to be doing but is actually is based upon what the people urged to use it SEE IS happening as an outcome.

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