The Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAIA) is the Bahamas’ independent aviation accident investigation unit previously under the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation.  The AAIA was officially separated from the Bahamas Civil Aviation Department on October 3rd, 2016. With the passage of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Authority Act 2019, the AAIA was transferred to the Ministry of Transport. The AAIA investigates aviation accidents and incidents to find out what happened and to make recommendations so it doesn’t happen again. We don’t investigate to lay blame but to improve safety.

The AAIA works with aviation entities, airline operators and the regulator to ensure safe transport for the traveling public and industry. If things go wrong the AAIA steps in to see if changes need to be made to the overall system of safety. Often things go wrong in safety because we’re all human and prone to error, we know that people generally don’t intend to harm themselves or others, nevertheless mistakes do happen.

The AAIA, aim to understand why these mistakes occur to reduce the risk of them happening again. While we’ll never fully eliminate human error, we need to be sure that when errors are made, they are detected and managed.

The AAIA is the notification point for safety occurrences in the Bahamas, this means that whenever there is an incident or accident we need to know about it. The data we get from notifications helps us to analyze trends, find patterns in aviation safety and alert the relevant organizations to any ongoing problem or risk. However, to do this effectively, we need to be told, this is where we rely on people in the aviation industry.

Besides being a legal requirement, your notification could save a life so even if you’re not sure, notify the AAID. You can also confidentially tell us about safety concerns with total assurance that your identity will be protected.

The AAIA gets numerous safety notifications of aviation accidents and incidents each year, we take these to show the big picture of accident trends and what’s causing them. The AAIA does a lot more than just investigate accidents, while investigation is essential to what we do, equally important is the information we collect on safety-related events.

This helps us identify safety issues and trends that help us advise on what needs to be done to improve safety. We also educate industry and promote positive safety action through a range of educational materials, through our safety watch initiative we highlight the top safety concerns that come out of our investigation findings and from the occurrence data reported to us by industry.

We urge the aviation community to give heightened attention to the risk areas identified in safety watch, these areas where Bahamas’ aviation can make safe aviation systems even safer, it’s all part of our commitment to make aviation safer for the Bahamas’ traveling public and aviation industry.