Safety Recommendations

The Air Accident Investigation Department (AAID) is responsible for advancing transportation safety in the aviation sector. The AAID conducts independent safety investigations and communicates identified risks in the aviation system to those persons or organizations best able to effect change to convince them to take remedial action to eliminate or reduce safety deficiencies. It is not the function of the AAID to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability. 

Under the Accident Investigation Authority Act, the regulatory authority and any entity that a recommendation is addressed to must formally respond to AAID recommendations and explain how they have addressed or will address the safety deficiencies. The AAID evaluates the responses and their overall effectiveness, assessing them as Fully Satisfactory, Satisfactory Intent, Satisfactory in Part or Unsatisfactory, and assigning them a status of Active, Dormant, or Closed (see the definitions in the Assessment Rating Guide below). Progress made to address AAID recommendations is assessed by the Chief Investigator of Air Accidents on an ongoing basis.

 

Responses to recommendations assessed to be Fully Satisfactory are assigned Closed status.

Safety recommendations are issued by the AAID following the investigation of aviation accidents and the completion of safety studies. Recommendations usually address a specific issue uncovered during an investigation or study and specify how to correct the situation. Letters containing the recommendations are sent to the organization best able to address the safety issue, whether it is public or private.

The AAID has various ways of communicating safety deficiencies.

  • The Watch-list

  • Recommendations

  • Safety concerns

  • Safety advisory letters

  • Safety information letters

 

The Watch-list

The Watch-list identifies the safety issues investigated by the AAID that pose the greatest risks to Bahamas citizens.

Each issue identified on the list is supported by one or more of the safety communications described below. In each case, actions taken to address these risks to date have been inadequate, and industry and the regulator must take concrete steps to eliminate them. The Watch-list is amended as current safety issues are addressed and new ones emerge.

Recommendations

The Accident Investigation Authority Act specifically provides for the AAID to make recommendations to address systemic safety deficiencies posing significant risks to the aviation system and, therefore, warranting the attention of regulators and industry. Under the Act, regulators addressed must formally respond to AAID recommendations within 90 days and explain how they have addressed or will address the safety deficiencies.

The AAID also makes recommendations to other stakeholders, and although the Act does not require them to do so, the AAID does ask these other stakeholders to respond, which they usually do.

The AAID assesses responses to recommendations according to the extent to which the underlying safety deficiency has been or is being addressed (see the Assessment rating guide).

Safety concerns

Safety concerns are expressed in final investigation reports. A safety concern focuses on an identified unsafe condition for which there is insufficient evidence to validate a systemic safety deficiency, but the risks it poses warrant highlighting. A safety concern provides a marker to the industry and the regulator that the AAID has insufficient information to make a recommendation, but that as more data and analysis become available it will return to this unsafe condition if it is not redressed.

Safety advisory letters

Safety advisory letters are concerned with safety deficiencies that pose low to medium risks, and used to inform regulatory or industry stakeholders of unsafe conditions. A safety advisory letter suggests remedial action to reduce risks to safety.

Safety information letters

Safety information letters are generally concerned with safety deficiencies posing relatively low risks, and are used to inform regulatory or industry stakeholders of unsafe conditions that do not require immediate remedial action. Safety information letters are used to pass information for the purposes of safety promotion or to support or clarify issues that are being examined by a stakeholder.

Select the safety recommendation number (underlined) to see the report. This query displays the text of the AAID's recommendations, their current status, and correspondence with the recommendation request.

Assessment rating guide

Responses to recommendations are assessed based on the extent to which the underlying safety deficiency has been or is being addressed. The acceptance or understanding of a deficiency is not a criterion for the assessment rating. The assessment criterion is the potential or actual effectiveness of action planned or taken to reduce or eliminate the deficiency.

Assessment categories for responses to AAID recommendations

Six categories are used to assess responses:

  1. A Fully Satisfactory rating is assigned if the action taken will substantially reduce or eliminate the safety deficiency. An acceptable alternative course of safety action to the one suggested by the recommendation may have been taken.

  2. A Satisfactory Intent rating is assigned if the planned action, when fully implemented, will substantially reduce or eliminate the safety deficiency, and meaningful progress has been made since the recommendation was issued. However, for the present, the action has not been sufficiently advanced to reduce the risks to transportation safety. The AAID will monitor the progress of the implementation of the planned actions and will reassess the deficiency on an annual basis or when otherwise warranted.

  3. A Satisfactory in Part rating is assigned if the planned action or the action taken will reduce but not substantially reduce or eliminate the deficiency, and meaningful progress has been made since the recommendation was issued. The AAID will follow up with the respondent as to options that could further mitigate the risks associated with the deficiency. The AAID will reassess the deficiency on an annual basis or when otherwise warranted.

  4. An Unsatisfactory rating is assigned if no action has been taken or proposed that will reduce or eliminate the deficiency. This rating may also be assigned when recommendations have been issued and outstanding for more than 5 years and there is no precise action plan or timeline provided to complete the required safety actions. This rating applies to situations where, in the Chief Investigator’s view, the safety deficiency will continue to put persons, property or the environment at risk. In such a situation, the AAID will reassess the statement of the deficiency and pursue the issue with the respondent, in the hope of acquiring additional convincing information. The AAID will reassess the deficiency on an annual basis or when otherwise warranted.

  5. An Unable to Assess rating is assigned if no response has been received to the recommendation or if the response received does not contain sufficient details to enable the Board to make a meaningful determination on whether the safety deficiency will be reduced or eliminated. The AAID will follow-up with the respondent to seek a more comprehensive response and will reassess the deficiency on an annual basis or when otherwise warranted.

  6. A Not Yet Assessed rating is assigned if the recommendation has been recently issued and a formal response has not yet been received and/or formally assessed by the Chief Investigator. Under the Accident Investigation Authority Act, the respondent has 90 days to respond to AAID recommendations. The AAID will normally complete its formal assessment of responses within 60 days of their receipt.

Status of the recommendations

Recommendations can be assigned one of three status designations as follows:

  • Closed: The assessment determines that the safety deficiency is rectified or the residual risk is relatively low (Fully Satisfactory).

  • Active: The assessment determines that the residual risk associated with the deficiency is sufficient to warrant continued AAID involvement.

  • Dormant: The assessment determines that there is a residual risk but no further action is planned to be taken and continued re-assessment will not likely yield further results. Dormant recommendations will not be re-assessed on a regular basis. However, occasional reviews will be conducted to see if any dormant recommendations should be reactivated and/or reassessed. The Chief Investigator may also reassess a dormant recommendation at any time if actions have been taken which significantly reduce the residual risk.

Aviation Safety Recommendations

The Air Accident Investigation Department (AAID) is responsible for advancing transportation safety. One of the ways it does this is by making recommendations to the regulatory authority and other organizations to eliminate or reduce safety deficiencies.

Please click on the link for the year which will take you to our recommendation database.